CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- With the beautiful scenery in Charlottesville, many buildings use large panel windows to take advantage of the view.
However, this type of design can mean trouble for birds. One local teen decided to do something about it.
Sixteen-year-old Walker Catlett made a sad discovery when he visited the YMCA in McIntire Park.
“I noticed that at the back of the building, the windows are really reflective, which can be bad for birds," he said. "They’ll see the reflection, fly into the windows, and ultimately lead to their death."
Catlett started bird watching at four years old with his grandmother. He dreams of studying environmental conservation and protection at Virginia Tech and is currently a member of the Blue Ridge Young Birders club.
“It’s kind of helped my passion grow and got me more into bird watching, because I can share it with other people," he said.
When Catlett found three dead birds outside the Brooks Family YMCA one day, he took pictures of them and sent them to the YMCA, hoping they would come up with a solution.
“I decided that I wanted to try to do something about it and contact the YMCA so they could try to help prevent the birds from flying into the windows,” he said.
Catlett's efforts paid off. The YMCA responded to Catlett on Facebook and told him they were looking into solutions. Tthe YMCA said its architects and contractors are working on solving the problem. Catlett said there are a few options to fix the issue.
“Usually people put bird tape on, and that's essentially used to help break the reflection of the window so they can see that it’s not trees but it’s actually a window,” he said.
In advocating for the birds and reaching out to the YMCA, Catlett said he learned an important message.
“It helped me realize that I can do something to help protect birds," Catlett said. "And even though I’m fairly young, I can do something to help the birds that I love.”