We think the Milwaukee Bucks have achieved a slam dunk with their new arena, the Fiserv Forum—it will be the world’s first bird-friendly sports and entertainment arena.

This is a major assist for bird conservation because up to 1 billion birds die annually after colliding with glass in the United States, according to American Bird Conservancy (ABC). Scientists estimate that this staggering total likely accounts for five to 10 percent of the birds in the United States and contributes to ongoing declines in bird populations across North America. 

The arena addresses the primary reasons that birds collide with buildings by using glass visible to birds and minimizing lighting that disorients birds during their nocturnal spring and fall migrations.

Addressing collisions is important not only because of the inherent value of birds, but also because birds reduce pest populations, pollinate plants, disperse seeds, provide other natural services and captivate tens of millions of Americans with their beauty and fascinating behavior.

“The Milwaukee Bucks’ bold decision to build the world’s first bird-friendly arena speaks volumes about the ownership’s character, concern for the environment, and desire to be a part of a green community,” said Bird City Wisconsin’s former director Bryan Lenz, who recently joined the staff of ABC as its Collisions Campaign Manager. “The Bucks stepped up for birds in a way that no sports franchise ever has. Hopefully the team’s message, that designing with birds in mind is an achievable goal, will set Fiserv Forum up as a model for arenas, stadiums and all other buildings for years to come.”

Bucks’ ownership is also serious about reducing the team’s environmental footprint overall. Among its efforts are landscaping with native plants, food service operations that avoid use of straws and other petroleum products, a composting program and low-flow toilets.

Collisions at homes and low-rise buildings combined account for the majority of U.S. bird-glass collisions — and they can be prevented. To learn how you can apply attractive, inexpensive treatments to your windows to reduce the threat that they pose to birds, visit www.birdsmartglass.org.