It’s Time to Turn out Your Lights at Night, Houston

It’s time to go darkish, people. The Houston Audubon and Mayor Sylvester Turner are asking Houstonians to show off all nonessential lights on buildings from 11 p.m. to six a.m. for the following couple of weeks. Why? To avoid wasting practically two billion birds making their manner by means of Texas. 

April 19 to Might 7 is peak season for chook migration, and Houston is located within the Central Flyway—some of the necessary avian routes. 

The Bayou Metropolis is among the most harmful cities for avian migration resulting from our location and excessive quantities of sunshine air pollution. Birds typically journey at night time and might’t inform the distinction between glass and the picture it displays, so lights on buildings can disorient the flocks in probably catastrophic methods. 

Working example: On a stormy night time in early Might 2017, hundreds of birds passing by means of Galveston needed to fly low, which led a lot of them to collide head-first with the brightly lit, 23-floor American Nationwide Constructing and precipitated 400 birds to die. 

That incident spurred Houston Audubon to start its Lights Out Texas initiative, encouraging all Texans to show off their lights at night time throughout this era. Final fall, the Audubon partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in addition to Texas Conservation Alliance, Dallas Zoo, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and Texan by Nature, to broaden this system throughout the state. 

Final week, Mayor Sylvester Turner declared the following two weeks as “Lights Out Nights” for Houston, asking residents to take part within the statewide initiative. 

“Together with being lovely, birds are necessary to our ecosystem. I encourage everybody to do their half to guard the big quantity that can be migrating and flying throughout Texas,” the mayor stated in launch. “The town of Houston will flip off the lights of Metropolis Corridor through the designated hours, and I hope companies and residents will observe our instance.”

Some feathery migration statistics

  • Birds from 25 completely different species died within the 2017 Galveston incident
  • A few third of all migrating birds within the U.S. move by means of Texas every spring. 
  • The U.S. has misplaced 1 / 4 of its complete chook inhabitants since 1970.
  • About one billion birds die annually from constructing collisions.
  • Within the Rio Grande Valley alone, chook watching contributes greater than $300 million to the native economic system. 
  • Based on one 2016 examine, greater than 45 million individuals within the U.S. watch the birds round their houses and away from house.

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