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Chicago flagship Apple store dimming lights at night to prevent further migratory bird deaths

After a watchdog agency devoted to tracking bird impacts on Chicago buildings alerted Apple to a possible problem, the new North Michigan Ave. flagship store will dim the lights nightly until the fall migration season ends.




Apple was alerted to the discovery of dead birds around the store by Chicago Bird Collision Monitors volunteers, according to the Chicago Tribune. The group claims that at night, birds become disoriented by lighting, and crash into the large glass panes that make up the store's exterior walls.

Apple spokesman Nick Leahy confirmed the communication with the group, and did acknowedge that there had been strikes. However, Leahy noted that there wasn't a "larger number" than expected.

"At least until we can get through the migratory season," said Leahy. "We will get the lights down as much as can overnight."

Chicago has a "Lights Out" initiative for high-rise buildings. The Apple store is two stories tall, and there are much larger buildings surrounding the store.

Chicago Bird Collision Monitors is an all-volunteer conservation project dedicated to the protection of migratory birds through rescue, advocacy and outreach. The project collaborates with building management, architects, planners and the public to prevent bird collisions.

In a brief interview with NBC affiliate WMAQ, Cook pointed out that Apple opened its first flagship store in Chicago some 14 years ago. The new location, which stands in the shadow of Chicago's iconic Tribune Tower, is a place where people can connect, he said.

"Some stores are for selling — actually almost all stores are for selling," Cook said. "It's actually a small part of what we do in our store. Our stores are about service, supporting customers, being a place where customers can discover and explore our products, and education. And connecting. A place where people can connect."