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The Jet City agrees to better share the skies with birds

caption: An Alaska Air 737 arrives at SeaTac as a flock of birds crosses.
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An Alaska Air 737 arrives at SeaTac as a flock of birds crosses.
Flickr Photo/Michael @ NW Lens (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

In a new environmental action by the Jet City, officials in Seattle have committed to protecting the "Pacific Flyway" — the route migratory birds take from Alaska to Mexico, on which Seattle is a stopover.

Friday, Seattle lawmakers signed a treaty to become an Urban Bird Treaty City. It's an agreement between the city, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Seattle Audubon and other agencies to protect bird habitats and do a better job connecting people with nature.

Seth Shteir with Seattle Audubon said together they'll bring forward changes that can help migratory birds in Seattle.

Shteir: “Piloting lights-out programs so that migrating birds won't collide with buildings, and then educational campaigns to keep cats indoors. Cats are wonderful feline pets of course, but they do take a number of wild bird species."

Shteir said they may also create a certification for people to have their gardens and backyards approved as bird friendly.

He said Seattle fills a missing link on the Pacific Flyway. San Francisco, Portland, and Anchorage have already signed the Urban Bird Treaty.

Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez said the program helps build upon the city's tradition of conserving urban wildlife habitats.

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