The Bakken Museum’s Iconic New Entrance Features Bird Protections

Museum Completes Installation of Bird-Safe Glass Treatments

Minneapolis, MN – Capping off its recent $4.5 million renovation, The Bakken Museum has completed the installation of bird-safe window treatments in its new entrance plaza. As part of its 2020 makeover, the museum’s iconic glass tower was constructed with bird-safe lighting and AviProtek® bird-safe glass, in consultation with the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis (ACM). In addition to the entrance tower, the museum partnered with ACM to identify and apply an effective retrofit treatment for the new first-level windows facing a small wetland and Bde Maka Ska.

To make the glass safe for birds, the museum selected fritted glass for the tower and Feather Friendly® visual markers for the windows. When applied to the outside glass surface, these markers effectively make the glass visible to birds and prevent deadly collisions.

“The Feather Friendly window markers are recommended by bird conservation organizations such as the American Bird Conservancy,” said Keith Olstad, chair of ACM. “They’ve been used successfully worldwide in a variety of climates, and we’re confident they will prevent bird fatalities at the Bakken.”

The Bakken Museum’s location within the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Important Bird Area (IBA) makes reflective glass especially hazardous to birds. IBAs provide essential habitat for breeding, wintering, and migrating bird species; nearly 200 bird species have been documented at Bde Maka Ska alone, including several species listed as being of Conservation Concern.

“Our location, combined with the Museum’s refurbished green roof and restored wetlands, provides a welcoming habitat in the urban area,” said Michael Sanders, President & CEO of The Bakken Museum. “While planning our renovation, we worked carefully to ensure the building would celebrate and protect our natural environment. We are thankful to the Audubon Chapter of Minnesota for their partnership in selecting lighting, glass, and treatments that will prevent bird-glass collisions.”

Bird populations are dramatically declining due to loss of habitat, collisions with buildings, climate change, and light pollution. A 2019 study reported in the journal Science documented that more than one in four birds has disappeared in the last 50 years. While the greatest threat to birds is habitat loss, scientists estimate that up to a billion birds are killed by collisions with glass in the United States every year. In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, millions of birds face these hazards twice a year as they travel the Mississippi Flyway, a major North American bird migration corridor, making their epic round trip journey to and from their breeding grounds.


About the Bakken Museum

The Bakken Museum features a world-renowned collection of artifacts, exceptional education programs, exhibits exploring the wonders of invention, plant medicine, technology, science, and the Florence Bakken Medicinal Garden. For more information, access thebakken.org or visit Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis

Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis (ACM) is a local leader in effective bird conservation, engaging community members in bird-related activities and advocating for bird-safe habitat, buildings and lighting. For more information, visit minneapolisaudubon.org or find ACM on Facebook and Instagram.



Stephen Greenfield
Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis

Laura Whittet
Associate Director of Marketing & Communications
The Bakken Museum