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HomeGood NewsMillions of Birds Now Migrating Safely Through Darkened Texas Cities After Successful Lights Out Campaign

Millions of Birds Now Migrating Safely Through Darkened Texas Cities After Successful Lights Out Campaign

Millions of Birds Now Migrating Safely Through Darkened Texas Cities After Successful Lights Out Campaign

Millions of Birds Now Migrating Safely Through Darkened Texas Cities After Successful Lights Out Campaign

Goodnews

Texas is in the middle of the most important migratory pathway for birds moving up and down the Americas—nearly 2 billion birds, or 1 out of 3 in the US, will pass over Texas during their spring and autumn migrations.

To safeguard the over 400 species of birds that migrate through Texas, the Houston chapter of the Audubon Society and their partners in the state have been running the Lights Out! Texas campaign for two years, and they’re seeing remarkable results.

With the prestige that owning and operating a skyscraper confers, maybe it’s surprising to note that dozens of building managers have been convinced since 2022 to turn off non-essential outdoor lights.

“We issued the proclamation and they… found out, ‘oh, wow, I can do these simple things and it actually helps the birds when they’re migrating,’” Houston city hall spokesperson Sarah Osborne told KHOU 11.

“We’re seeing communities all across the state join in on this effort,” adds Anna Vallery a Conservation Specialist with the Houston Audubon.

 

Researchers working in Chicago and studying the effects of Lights Out campaigns and other phenomena impacting migratory birds found that reducing the reflections from exterior lighting on tall buildings worked to prevent 60% of all bird collision deaths.

Since most birds migrate at night by the light of the stars and moon, the shining lights of a city in the distance can attract them. But once lost in the photo-soup of a shining skyline like Houston or Fort Worth, they can become extremely disoriented, smash headlong into buildings whose glass is reflecting light from the city, and die.

Fort Worth is taking part in Lights Out! Texas, and the skyline looks decidedly different in this short CBS bulletin.

The Texas Audubon has all the information a resident might need to do their part, or organize municipal efforts, to help our winged brothers and sisters safely pass by.

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