Lights out – it’s fall migration

September 4, 2012

Work in a tall building? Here’s something you can do this fall for birds. Get your building manager to participate in the Lights Out for Birds program to reduce the numbers of bird collisions into tall buildings during the fall migratory season, which has just begun.

It’s as simple as closing the shades, or turning off the lights at dusk and not turning them back on again until dawn. Save birds, save money and save energy. Each year an estimated 1 billion birds die in North America by crashing into buildings. It’s become de rigueur in sustainable building architecture to incorporate bird-safe design elements. But a lot can be done with existing buildings by changing habits, and there are rebates and various incentives available for equipment like timers and motion detectors.

The Bay Area’s Lights Out for Birds program started four years ago as a project of the city of San Francisco, PG&E and Golden Gate Audubon. Every spring and fall about 250 species of birds migrate through the Bay Area along the Pacific Flyway. Many are small songbirds that migrate at night, such as warblers, thrushes, tanagers and sparrows. Some of these are threatened species.

Seven buildings have signed up so far. Add yours to the list.


About the Author

Alison Hawkes was a Bay Nature editor from 2011-2017. Before Bay Nature she worked in journalism for more than a decade as a former newspaper reporter turned radio producer turned web editor with each rendition bringing her closer to her dream of covering environmental issues. She co-founded Way Out West, a site dedicated to covering Bay Area environmental news.

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