Fiserv Forum is the first bird-friendly arena

Posted at 5:21 PM, Oct 24, 2018

Milwaukee's Fiserv Forum is saving birds through its architecture, making it the world's first bird-friendly arena.

Studies show, across the United States up to 1 billion birds die from glass collisions every year. These deaths account for more than a 5 to 10 percent decline in the North American bird population. 

Bucks President Peter Feigin says it's important to look at the smallest details during construction of massive structures.

Therefore, thinking about how birds could fly around the building instead of crashing into it, is just as important as what goes into the arena. 

"We're really affecting the change, that in the way things are built, in the future. Especially, the glass curtain walls, you know, hundreds of feet," said Feigin. 

Feigin referred to several large structures throughout the U.S. that are mostly made of glass or reflective materials. These buildings confuse and disorient birds, causing them to crash into the building and die.

Back in 2017, the Minnesota Vikings stadium had a huge issue with large numbers of birds dying from colliding into the glass side of the building.

To avoid that issue in downtown Milwaukee, Fiserv Forum's widows have special glass with treatments that aren't visible to the human eye. 

"But to the bird's eye it actually looks and puts their collision awareness up so they don't go banging into the glass," said Feigin. 

Bucks Director Jonathan Zuckerbrod says Fiserv Forum's construction is more than just a way to avoid endangering birds. 

"It's not just about birds, right? It's the whole ecosystem. It's the insects. It's the bugs. It's all the animals and the pollination and the cross-pollination that happens," said Zuckerbrod. 

Lorrie and John Markvan, are visiting their son, from Pittsburgh. Walking around the arena they say they're happy to hear about the new title and agree with Zuckerbrod. 

"It's very important. Birds are very much a part of our ecosystem I mean we need birds as much as they need us," said Markvan. 

Rowan Strong, from Las Vegas, Nevada says he's shocked by Milwaukee's cool weather, as well as, the plan to be more bird friendly. 

"It's very interesting. Usually, most of the time you're trying to figure out a way to make sure the birds don't get close to the building because then they'll be trying to make a home there," said Strong. 

Zuckerbrod says the goal for Fiserv Form's design is to be a catalyst for change in architecture. He says the arena's construction should be taken as a positive example of how greener construction practices can be used across the nation.