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Teen Concerned Over Birds Flying into Windows at Charlottesville YMCA

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Brooks Family YMCA Brooks Family YMCA
Walker Catlett Walker Catlett
Dead birds found at Brooks Family YMCA (Photo courtesy Walker Catlett) Dead birds found at Brooks Family YMCA (Photo courtesy Walker Catlett)
Dead bird found at Brooks Family YMCA (Photo courtesy Walker Catlett) Dead bird found at Brooks Family YMCA (Photo courtesy Walker Catlett)
Dead bird found at Brooks Family YMCA (Photo courtesy Walker Catlett) Dead bird found at Brooks Family YMCA (Photo courtesy Walker Catlett)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A teenager is urging the Brooks Family YMCA to do something about dead birds outside the facility in McIntire Park.

He says the birds are flying into the large, reflective windows, and YMCA has refused to do anything to prevent it from happening.

This all started back in October when 17-year-old Charlottesville High School student Walker Catlett found two dead birds behind the building.

Just last week, Catlett found another.

"People don't like seeing dead birds," said the high schooler.

Catlett says eight birds have flown into the windows within the past few months.

"At first, they put up hawk decoys, which have been proven to be ineffective in reducing strikes," he said.

Catlett then asked the YMCA to put up a collidescape: "It’s an opaque film on the outside and from the inside you can still see out the windows, so the views won't be affected by it and it also reduces cooling costs."

An initial cost estimate for that project came in around $14,000. Catlett offered to raise money, though the organization suggested only putting film on windows where the problem is the worst.

"It’s frustrating since it’s such an easy issue to fix, but it’s just a matter of them fixing it," Catlett said.

"I felt surprised that the ‘Y’ hadn't done something about this given one of their values is social responsibility," said Dayne Scott.

Scott is a member of the Brooks Family YMCA. She says she loves the facility, but after learning about the bird issue, is considering dropping her membership.

"It looks like wildlife dying for kind of a needless reason when there are so many solutions that could be implemented to solve the problem," said Scott.

The YMCA's executive director has consistently told Catlett that they are observing the situation, but as he continues to find dead birds, Catlett is calling on them to step up.

"The YMCA has a duty to protect the environment that they have built their building in," Catlett said.

The YMCA has not responded to NBC29's request for comments on the issue.

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