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Fatal attraction: Stadium a ‘death trap’ for birds?

It’s one thing to take down Eagles, Seahawks and Falcons on the playing field, but the Minnesota Vikings and National Football League face a blitz of criticism for a nearly $1 billion stadium in the works that nature lovers call a “death trap” for real birds.

Critics warn the stadium’s enormous glassy exterior will reflect the sky, turning it into a fatal attraction for thousands of birds a year.

“We think it’s a travesty to use birds to advance your brand and then kill them over what amounts to pocket change for your organization,” said Dr. Christine Sheppard, bird collisions campaign manager for the American Bird Conservancy, in a statement.

Surveys show 125 species of migratory birds have been grounded permanently in the last few years by crashing into the windows of Twin Cities’ office buildings. Environmental groups say thousands more federally protected fowl will die unnecessarily due to what amounts to a killer stadium underwritten in part by $500 million in local and state taxpayer funding.

“The new Minnesota Vikings stadium is primed to become one of Minnesota’s biggest bird killers unless quick action is taken,” states an alert from the National Audubon Society’s action center. “…The planned building features nearly 200,000 square feet of glass (that’s 4 football fields of glass walls!) and is sited near a major bird migration pathway along the Mississippi River corridor. This decision is a death warrant for birds.”

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