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Dim exterior lights to help save migrating birds

5 Mar 2022 10:06 PM | Stacy Hollingsworth (Administrator)

a graphic representation of the skyline

The birds are back! The spring bird migration is underway and organizations across Texas are turning their lights out at night as we welcome hundreds of millions of birds migrating through the state.

Last fall, many downtown Fort Worth high-rise buildings joined the mission to help save the lives of migrating birds. This season, the City of Fort Worth is dimming its lights again in support of this mission.

As part of a nationwide initiative called Lights Out, the goal is to protect the billions of birds as they migrate across the United States — one of the largest migrations on the planet and one that occurs primarily at night. Light from buildings, especially in urban areas, attracts and disorients migrating birds, confusing and exhausting them and making them vulnerable to collisions with buildings.

All Texans are encouraged to turn off nonessential lights from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the full spring migration, March 1-June 15.

According to research by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and Lights Out Texas, the state is globally important for birds. Approximately one of every three birds migrating through the U.S. fly through Texas.

“The Cornell Lab and our partners are the leaders in this effort,” said Cody Whittenburg, assistant director of the Fort Worth Code Compliance Department. “This is a great educational opportunity for our entire community to take one proactive step to protect these migrating bird populations. Turning the lights out in other populated areas of the city such as shopping centers and outdoor sports venues will also make a huge contribution.”

Whittenburg said it's not necessary to be downtown to take part – reduce light pollution at night for a few hours, where possible, to support this effort.

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