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Turn Off Your Lights to Protect Migratory Birds This Week

Live in a home three stories or taller? Keep those lights off for the birds.

By Gwendolyn Knapp August 28, 2019

Alert. There are a lot of migratory birds flying through Houston this week, on their way to hug the Gulf Coast while heading to Central and South America for the winter, and Houston Audubon wants you to help them make it out of the Bayou City safely.

The organization suggests that Houstonians living in buildings three stories and taller turn their lights out over the next three nights, through August 30, while conditions are favorable for many bird friends to migrate, and the presence of rainy conditions threatens to make their journey more difficult and even ground them.

The organization also suggests three-story buildings and taller turn off unnecessary lighting until the end of fall migration, October 31, too. 

Most of our migratory birds fly at night and lights on buildings can disorient flocks or result in fatal collisions.  An estimated 340 million birds die from collisions with city buildings in America each year. Houston Audubon uses Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdCast program to predict heavy migration, along with weather forecasts, to make science-based determinations for when birds at at greatest risk of collision in Houston. So turn those lights out, folks.  

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