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Green Roof Birds

September 11, 2018

Green roofs in New York City attract birds.

Transcript

Researcher Dustin Partridge atop a green roof in New York City. (Megan Westervelt)

Researcher Dustin Partridge atop a green roof in New York City. (Megan Westervelt)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Bringing nature to rooftops. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

(Sounds of a green roof)

Green roofs bring nature to the top of urban buildings. They decrease air temperatures, lower heating bills, and are a pleasant refuge from city life. What’s more, they provide a safe haven for birds, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. Fordham University researchers Dustin Partridge and Alan Clark found that birds were much more abundant on green roofs in New York City in the spring and summer than on nearby conventional roofs, often attracted by insects. Partridge says even bird species that normally avoid the city visited green roofs.

DUSTIN PARTIDGE (Fordham University):

We’re providing these habitats for migratory birds as they’re passing through urban areas. So by providing green roofs it becomes almost these small floating islands that are available for birds to stop over.

HIRSHON:

He says green roofs could help them survive their perilous journey. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard

An acoustic recording unit for monitoring the presence of birds atop a green roof in New York City. (Courtesy of Dustin Partrisge)

An acoustic recording unit for monitoring the presence of birds atop a green roof in New York City. (Courtesy of Dustin Partrisge)