July 15, 2016 (Minneapolis, MN) – A week before the opening of the U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) announced that a scientific study to monitor bird-window collisions at the new stadium will be led by Audubon Minnesota, National Audubon Society, University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University. The study will begin in the spring of 2017, with the study analysis to be released in 2019. 

“We are pleased to announce that we are collaborating with the Audubon on a study over four migratory seasons to determine if the stadium has a problem with bird migration,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen.  “If we identify that there is a problem, we can partner with 3M to provide a bird safe solution.”

The MSFA and the Vikings have committed to participate in Audubon’s “Lights Out” program, joining many other iconic Twin Cities buildings in their effort to reduce collision risk by reducing light pollution during spring and fall migration.

Based on the study’s findings, the researchers will recommend management actions to reduce bird-building collisions at the stadium. Migratory birds such as the hummingbirds, thrushes, warblers, and native sparrows migrate to or through Minnesota in large numbers and are known to be especially vulnerable to collisions.  

“Window collisions are one of the leading causes of bird mortality and they are largely preventable,” said Joanna Eckles, Bird-Friendly Communities manager for Audubon Minnesota. “This study will help fill in gaps in our knowledge and continue to improve our ability to generate and promote solutions.”

By supporting scientific monitoring of bird collisions, the MSFA and the Vikings are contributing to the conservation of migratory birds by improving our scientific understanding of bird collisions, an emerging field of study in both the conservation and architecture communities. The stadium study will produce scientific evidence that helps to inform recommendations and potential solutions, if needed, for U.S. Bank Stadium and other buildings in the Twin Cities’ and around the world.

To learn more about reducing bird-window collisions at your home or workplace visit http://mn.audubon.org/conservation/bird-friendly-communities.

Audubon Minnesota is the state office of the National Audubon Society, the nation’s oldest and leading bird conservation organization with a mission dedicated to conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, focusing on birds. Audubon Minnesota leads ongoing studies of bird collisions with buildings in the Twin Cities and has strong relationships with Minnesota’s community of conservationists and bird enthusiasts.

About U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium, owned and operated by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, is a multi-purpose stadium and home to the Minnesota Vikings. The 66,200 seat stadium is located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. With 137,000 square feet on the stadium floor and six club spaces throughout the building, this state-of-the-art facility will host prominent national and international programming including the Minnesota Vikings, concerts, family shows, sporting events, conventions, trade/consumer shows, and corporate or private meetings and events. U.S. Bank Stadium is set to open summer 2016 and has been chosen as the site of Super Bowl LII (2018) and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019.

Audubon Media Contact:

Ashley Peters

Audubon Minnesota Communications Manager

952-715-1209

IN THE NEWS: 

Bird study to take wing at U.S. Bank Stadium, Finance and Commerce, July 15, 2016

$300K U.S. Bank Stadium bird study approved [Video], KARE 11, July 15, 2016

Vikings' new stadium to be studied for bird deaths, USA TODAY, July 15, 2016

MSFA, Vikings Announce Bird Collision Study With Audubon Society, CBS Local, July 15, 2016

Vikings move ahead on bird-collision study, advocates unimpressed, Minnesota Public Radio News, July 15, 2016

The Vikings' new $1.1 billion stadium might have a huge bird problem, FOXSports.com, July 15, 2016

Three-year, $300000 study planned for bird deaths at new Vikings stadium, NBCsports.com, July 15, 2016

Flapping U.S. Bank Stadium panels getting reinforced after blowing in wind, Star Tribune, July 15, 2016

Vikings' new stadium to be studied for bird deaths, Associated Press, July 15, 2016

Vikings, Stadium Authority to Pay for Bird Study, KSTP, July 14, July 2016

Vikings, US Bank Stadium officials propose bird study, NFL.com, July 14, 2016

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