LIGHTS OUT: How you can easily help migrating birds

(Aeroecolab image)

Thanks to the texter who pointed this out: Tonight millions of migrating birds are expected to fly over our state – thousands over Seattle – and you can help them by turning off your outdoor lights. This Audubon webpage explains:

Every year, billions of birds migrate north in the spring and south in the fall, the majority of them flying at night, navigating with the night sky. However, as they pass over big cities on their way, they can become disoriented by bright artificial lights and skyglow, often causing them to collide with buildings or windows. While lights can throw birds off their migration paths, bird fatalities are more directly caused by the amount of energy the birds waste flying around and calling out in confusion. The exhaustion can then leave them vulnerable to other urban threats.

Here’s more about what you can do. Tonight’s not the only night for migrating – you can check on other upcoming nights here.

13 Replies to "LIGHTS OUT: How you can easily help migrating birds"

  • Aaron April 30, 2021 (9:48 pm)

    Maybe the City could shut off the lights on the West Seattle bridge since no one is using it? Save money AND birds!

  • anonyme May 1, 2021 (6:55 am)

    I’m always aware of the effects of light pollution not just on birds, but other wildlife as well.  I don’t even need exterior lights, as several neighbors have yards that are illuminated like airport landing strips.  Motion detector lights, string lights, multiple porch lights, rows of yard lights.  And then there are the 365 days per year Xmas lights…Nature just can’t catch a break.  There are many other ways to “spark” joy that don’t involve environmental destruction.  Birdwatching, for example.  And as far as security goes, how many videos have we seen on this blog of thieves blithely going about their business in the glare of security lights and cameras?  The worst is the downtown skyscrapers and commercial buildings lit from top to bottom 24/7.  As a species, we’re not very bright.

    • Maria Lopez May 1, 2021 (2:33 pm)

      Anonyme, why do you live in a city if the people, skyscrapers, and lights are so environmentally unfriendly? Maybe you should lead by example and move out of the city and off the grid? WSB shared a wonderful post about migrating birds, but you just had to take it one step further and just be negative about life in general. Lighten up and live a little! 

      • anonyme May 1, 2021 (4:33 pm)

        One of the reasons I live in a city is because I have never owned a car.  Also, moving out of the city encourages sprawl – the opposite of “leading by example”.  A single individual plopping themselves down in the country, off-grid or not, has a greater negative impact on the environment than careful city living – especially as it requires a vehicle, unless one intends to hunt and farm.   I fail to see why being environmentally aware and appreciative and joyful about the natural world equates to being negative and not fully alive.  Living in a city does not demand that you live irresponsibly; you have a choice.  Maybe you should do some homework before you start yapping about things you clearly know nothing about.

    • Sunflower May 1, 2021 (5:17 pm)

      Birdwatching is a great suggestion ;)

      And, before now, I really hadn’t considered much the impacts of nighttime lighting options on wildlife, but will now.

  • Sunflower May 1, 2021 (8:12 am)

    Thanks for sharing this WSB! 

    So interesting to know thousands of birds are making their arduous journey overhead while we sleep. I always think of birds flying during the day, not so much at night. Happy to dim my light to help them make it.

  • Bird Watcher May 1, 2021 (9:13 am)

    I have already seen white Pelicans at the beach this morning!

    • J May 1, 2021 (1:00 pm)

      What beach did you see the Pelicans?

      • Bird expert May 1, 2021 (4:56 pm)

        There are no white pelicans in the seattle area. I think OP must be confused about the species, or just an elaborate troll.

        • WSB May 1, 2021 (5:27 pm)

          Not usually but they do turn up sometimes. We had a sighting, with photo, just a few weeks back.

        • Maria May 2, 2021 (9:19 am)

          “Bird Expert” can be more helpful such as what might be confused as a white pelican.  Otherwise just outwardly calling yourself an expert is haughty.

  • Rick May 2, 2021 (5:08 pm)

    That’s the beauty of the internet. You can be whatever you want to be when you want to. And if you repeat it enough it becomes truth. We’re screwed.

  • anonyme May 3, 2021 (11:50 am)

    In case it’s not obvious, the migration continues.  The Aeroecolab alert was not for one night only.  If you follow the link, you’ll see that on the night of May 5 the number of birds almost doubles…

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