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Fowl Play: Paint Job is for the Birds

Friday, March 22, 2013

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A UK building whose pale gray exterior has reportedly proved a death trap for geese may be in for a lifesaving facelift.

The bland exterior has been killing geese since 2008, locals say. Now, the community is ready to stop the bloodshed by painting a mural on the side of The Sands apartment building in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, according to a report in UK’s Daily Mail.

The building apparently stands in the birds’ flight path to the North Sea, the report said. It doesn’t help that the wall's putty color blends nicely with the overcast skies present in the seaside town.

© syndication / Daily Mail

Dozens of geese have flown into the building wall at left mistaking it for sky, according to the report.  A local artist suggests painting a woodland mural on the building.

“[M]any Canadian geese have flown into the wall, breaking their necks and falling to the ground,” the news outlet reported. Their beaks have peppered the building with indentations as well.

A Lighting Solution?

The Building vs. Bird situation has been an issue since the apartments were constructed in 2008, the report noted. Earlier, developers installed LED lights at the top of the building to try and curb the deaths.

However, the lighting efforts have not proved successful enough, and the locals are speaking out. In addition, a spokesman from Scarborough Borough Council told D+D News that Escape 2 The Sands, the outfit which manages the building, is looking into other possible solutions.

At least one local artist has submitted an idea for a woodland mural to adorn the side of the building.

Maybe a new paint job can help turn the “invisible wall of death” (as the newspaper calls it) into a piece of public art full of life.

Millions of birds die each year from structural collisions, though most involve reflective or transparent building components. A protective glass coating to protect birds from fatally smashing themselves into buildings is reported in this D+D News story, "Coatings for Birds? Bet Your Glass!"


Tagged categories: Architecture; Building facades; Color; Color + Design; Color selection; Design

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