11 Bird Species Spotted on Javits Center’s Green Roof

Gulf Oil Spill-Counting Birds

Eleven species of birds have made the plant-covered roof of Manhattan’s Javits Center their home, according to the group that operates the convention center.

Canada geese, American Kestrels, herring gulls, great black-backed gulls, rock pigeons, mourning doves, fish crows, barn swallows, northern mocking birds, European swallows and house swallows have all been spotted around the 6.75-acre center on Manhattan’s West Side, according to the New York Convention Center Operation Corporation.

The birds, 524 in all, were spotted during a study conducted by the city Audubon Society and Fordham University in the spring and summer of 2014.

The sightings came on the heels of a renovation of the Javits Center, which included the installation of a so-called “green roof” and special glass to prevent bird strikes. Green roofs, which feature layers of a shrub-like plant called sedum, provide environments for city-dwelling animals.

“With the installation of our green roof, we have created an oasis for the area's wildlife in an urban environment dominated by concrete and steel,” said Alan Steel, a spokesman for the group that operates the Javits Center. “For nearly 30 years, the Javits Center has sought to improve New York’s economy, and now, we are working to improve the quality of life in the community around us.”

The birds most commonly seen around the center were herring gulls, European starlings and barn swallows. Kathryn Heintz, the director of the city Audubon Society, said that as the Javits Center’s green roof continues to grow, more birds will likely make the center their home.

“The installation of the green roof was a large step in creating new habitat in a previously diminished urban environment,” Heintz said.

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