Dead birds litter front of Manhattan condo with glass facade

Birds that stop in the Big Apple on their way south for the winter are dying by the dozen thanks to a ritzy Central Park condo with avian death traps for windows, advocates say.

Ever since Circa Central Park — a sparkly 11-story building on West 110th Street with multi-million dollar apartments — finished construction in 2017, migratory birds have been crashing into its curved, glass facade, making it one of the city’s “worst offenders” for migratory bird deaths. 

“The location and design of Circa make it particularly dangerous to birds,” said Dr. Dustin Partridge, the Director of Conservation and Science at the New York City Audubon Society.

Each morning, volunteers from the non-profit organization have the grim task of collecting the dead warblers from the front of the luxury building — and until bird-friendly glass is put in, advocates said the deaths would keep coming.

Residents and workers in the neighborhood told The Post last week they regularly see fallen birds outside the building, with reports of as many as seven or eight spotted in a single day.

A dead warbler recently found in front of Circa Central Park.

“I thought someone was shooting them down with a BB gun. I walked with my dog and there were eight of them lined up,” Will Brand, a maintenance worker who lives in the building next door, said of the recent carnage he witnessed.

“Terrible scene,” Brand added. “Everybody [was] looking like what’s going on here? It looked like a tragedy happened.” 

Every spring and fall, migratory birds make their way across the globe, and those flying along the Atlantic Flyway pass right by the Circa as they head to Central Park to rest, refuel or even nest until the weather changes again. 

However, due to the building’s curved construction, floor to ceiling windows and prime location in front of the green space, the warblers often mistake the window’s reflection for actual trees and sky and crash to their deaths before they have a chance to make it to balmier locales. 

“It’s definitely an egregious bird killing building. For how small it is and how new it is, it kills a disproportionate amount of birds from our perspective,” Catherine Quayle, social media director for the Wild Bird Fund, told The Post. 

“It’s a big glass building right next to the biggest migrant path in the city so I think anyone could have predicted that it was going to be a huge hazard,” Quayle said.

In May 2020, a whopping 28 birds were killed by the building in a single night, the Wild Bird Fund said at the time. 

While NYC Audubon wasn’t immediately able to share numbers on how many bird collisions it has tallied near the building so far this year, members of the public have reported at least 14 crashes to the organization.

A black and white warbler who was rescued by the Wild Bird Fund after crashing into Circa Central Park.
A black and white warbler who was rescued by the Wild Bird Fund after crashing into Circa Central Park.
Sara Bucior/ Wild Bird Fund

A woman who works for a resident who owns one of the top floor condos, however, said she picked up five dead birds from the balcony just on Wednesday.

Though her boss has window decals and tassels on the balcony, it wasn’t enough to stop the unwitting kamikazes. 

“I personally had to pick them up and care for them. It’s sad and gross. I hate it… I’m always dreading it,” the worker said.

A resident who lives on the 11th floor said the building has been handing out window decals to stop the crashes — but Quayle noted research shows that’s not enough, and special fowl-friendly glass is needed. 

“I don’t know what else to do. I have all the decals, all the ribbons and they still hit the building,” said the resident, who declined to give her name and called the bird deaths unpleasant.

“We asked them to look at more permanent treatments to the windows but I think it requires a lot of effort, like installation, and all of the residents would have to agree to it.”

The worker who found the five dead birds in a single day added that some residents don’t want to use the window decals.

Male Common Yellowthroat perched on a branch singing.
Common Yellowthroats are frequently killed while migrating through New York City.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Some of the residents are reluctant because they’re like ‘we paid for these massive apartments with these views but we don’t feel like putting up stickers’ and that’s really f–ked if that can help but I don’t even think it’s helping,” she said.

In 2019, the City Council passed a law requiring new constructions use bird-friendly glass that would prevent crashes but the legislation doesn’t apply to existing structures. 

Partridge, of NYC Audubon, said the non-profit has managed to make some progress with residents of the building on finding possible other bird-saving solutions.

“We’re grateful that the residents of Circa are now working in collaboration with NYC Audubon and partners to address the problem of bird collisions,” Partridge said in an email.

“NYC Audubon’s decades-long Project Safe Flight collisions research across the City’s five boroughs shows that collisions with glass are a major threat to birds, killing up to a quarter million in New York City each year.”

When asked what efforts, if any, the building’s management company was undertaking to stop the deaths, they didn’t respond.