Go Lights Out, Texas! Fall migration season begins August 15 and runs through November 30.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology department developed BirdCast a tool for predicting and monitoring annual bird migration. As you know, one-third of birds migrating through the United States pass through Texas each year. Birds tell us the effects of land use, pollution, climate change, and weather trends. But they need our help!
Migratory birds face a number of challenges during fall and spring migration windows, and it’s critical we work with our communities to reduce the millions of annual bird fatalities. Birds are easily distracted by the lights on tall buildings and the glass façade within our urban landscape. During peak migration periods, turn off as many lights as possible in rural, residential, and commercial areas, reducing overall light emissions. You can learn more about best practices and share your efforts on social media through the Lights Out Texas program, coordinated by Audubon Texas with partners from across the state. Additionally, the American Bird Conservancy has developed a suite of resources to reduce glass collisions by creating bird friendly buildings.
Guidelines everyone can use:
- Turn off all non-essential lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night during migration season.
- Do not use landscape lighting to light up trees or gardens where birds may be resting.
- For essential lights (such as security lighting) use the following dark skies-friendly lighting practices:
- Aim lights down
- Use lighting shields to direct light downwards and avoid light shining into the sky or trees
- Use motion detectors or sensors so lights are only on when you need them
- Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light being emitted from windows
- Share your success on social media and with the press, your commitment to go lights out to save birds is newsworthy!