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Bird advocates say U.S. Bank stadium is 'most dangerous building'

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Bird advocates hold up poster-sized photos of dead birds.
Bird advocates hold up poster-sized photos of dead birds Friday that they said volunteers found outside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

Bird advocates say U.S. Bank Stadium is the most dangerous building in the Twin Cities for migrating birds.

The Audubon Society chapter of Minneapolis presented the findings of an informal survey of the area around the stadium, running from August — when the stadium opened — through November.

Ann Laughlin, one of the volunteers who walked around the stadium during that time, said she and others found 74 birds hurt and injured, of 21 different species. She said 60 were killed outright. She said by comparison, the highest comparable building in Minneapolis averaged just 42 bird fatalities per migration season.

Another volunteer, Constance Pepin called the stadium "the top bird killing building in the Twin Cities."

Jerry Bahls, the president of the Audubon chapter, called on the MSFA to make alterations to the stadium.

"The MSFA should take immediate action to protect migrating birds from the unnecessary and preventable injuries and deaths documented in this study. Bird safe treatments should be applied immediately to the glass on all sides of the stadium in order to protect birds," Bahls told the stadium board at a meeting Friday.

MSFA officials did not respond. They've said for years that obscuring the stadium's glass would thwart the transparency the stadium was designed to provide — and that the cost of permanently altering the glass wasn't practical. The MSFA did commission a three year, $300,000 study of birds and the stadium last year.