Saving Our Sky Travelers: Join Houston's Lights Out Campaign to Protect Migratory Birds

Saving Our Sky Travelers: Join Houston's Lights Out Campaign to Protect Migratory Birds

April 23 2024

As our avian neighbors embark on their annual migration, they face a myriad of dangers that can disrupt and even end their journeys. One significant and often overlooked hazard is artificial nighttime lighting. The Houston Audubon, in collaboration with numerous partners, has initiated the Lights Out campaign to combat this danger and aid our feathered friends on their epic voyage. Over the next three nights (April 23rd - 25th), the campaign urges buildings three stories and higher, and those with exterior lighting, to switch off unnecessary lights.

This is not just a random request. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdCast Program has predicted high bird migration for the region during these nights. An estimated 28,000 birds or more per kilometer per hour are expected to fly over the Houston-Gulf region. Artificial lights can attract these migratory birds and disorient them, leading to injuries or fatalities. By merely turning off unnecessary lights, we can dramatically reduce these risks, aiding the safe passage of these birds through the region.

(Source: Houston Audubon)

However, the danger for the birds isn't confined to nighttime. According to the Houston Audubon, grounded birds in the region for the next few days also face heightened risks of daytime collisions, particularly with reflective glass surfaces. Additionally, outdoor predators such as house cats pose a significant threat. As a part of the Lights Out campaign, it's recommended to limit these dangers by covering reflective surfaces and keeping cats indoors if possible.

The Lights Out campaign is more than an initiative; it’s a call to action for every individual and business in the Houston-Gulf region. Your participation can make the difference between life and death for thousands of migratory birds. Help give our avian neighbors a safe passage. Remember, for the next three nights, keep your lights out and protect the birds.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek, authorTiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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