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Join the movement to help migrating birds: Lights Out Philly
Philly

Join the movement to help migrating birds: Lights Out Philly

With a simple flick of the switch, you can help protect birds from the urban environment.

Every year, millions of birds migrate through Philadelphia. Unfortunately, many of them collide with buildings and die due to the bright lights that confuse them.

Luckily, there is an easy solution: Lights Out Philly. This program, run by the Audubon Mid-Atlantic and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, asks residential and commercial buildings to turn off their lights during migration season to reduce bird deaths.

One Center City building (Atrium building in the courtyard of the BNY Mellon Center, 1735 Market St) saw bird collisions decline 70% since their participation in the program in 2020.

The Problem with Bright Lights for Birds

Birds use stars to navigate during their migration, but bright lights from buildings disrupt their path. These birds become disoriented and fly toward the light, which leads to collisions with buildings. This problem is particularly severe in Philadelphia, which sits on a major migration route. During peak migration, over 100,000 birds per night pass through the city. But with your help, we can reduce the number of bird deaths caused by lights.

How Lights Out Philly Works

The Lights Out Philly program runs from mid-March through mid-June and mid-August through mid-November, which is the peak migration season. During this time, buildings are encouraged to turn off non-essential lights from midnight until 6 am.

Turning off lights during migration season can reduce your building’s energy costs and electricity consumption, one of the leading contributors to the city’s carbon footprint. 70% of our city’s emissions come from buildings.

Learn more about the program and sign up at www.birdsafephilly.org/lights-out.


Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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