Every spring and fall there is a massive migration as birds travel between the warmer and cooler climates of North America. The greatest migration period takes place in April, May, September, and October.

Millions of Birds on the Move

Part of that migration is taking place right now with millions of birds on the move, many of which are expected to fly over the state of Indiana alone. So why is this important and why should it matter to you? During this massive fall migration, a lot of the birds won't actually make it to their final destinations. They will die due to collisions with man-made structures.

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash


Flying By the Light of the Moon

According to Lights Out Indy the birds use the light of the moon and stars to navigate their migration and the birds can become disoriented when they fly over urban areas with a lot of light pollution from buildings. Lights Out Indy says,

Confused by the lights, the birds fly into the city, and the urban environment becomes a deadly trap. The birds strike buildings as they arrive. In the morning birds take flight and collide with buildings that have clear or reflective glass.

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As Easy as Flipping a Switch

Fortunately, there is something you can do to help reduce the number of avian fatalities and it is as simple as flipping a switch.  By turning off your outside lights during the months of migration you can reduce the number of casualties. According to the National Audubon Society, here are some of the things you can do to help,

  • Turn off exterior decorative lighting
  • Extinguish pot and flood-lights
  • Substitute strobe lighting wherever possible
  • Reduce atrium lighting wherever possible
  • Turn off interior lighting especially on higher stories

The National Audubon Society is an organization that works to protect birds and their habitats all across the country. To learn more visit Audubon.org.


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