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.
Part of that migration is taking place tonight with an expected 513 million birds on the move and 12.9 million birds expected to fly over the state of Indiana alone. According to the Indiana Audubon Society, 29,000+ birds will fly over Evansville, and 114,000+ are expected over Indianapolis tonight.
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. 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.
But you can do your part to help reduce the number of avian fatalities by turning off your outside lights tonight and during the months of migration. According to the National Audubon Society, here are some of the ways you can 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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