The migrating bird population is declining largely due to collisions with brightly lit businesses, homes and other buildings. Fort Worth’s Lights Out initiative encourages residents to turn off nonessential lights during the spring bird migration.

The details

According to a news release, the city’s Lights Out initiative is an educational campaign of awareness and action focused on protecting migratory birds by turning off nonessential lights at night from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the spring migration from March 1 to June 15.

The news release states migration across the U.S. is one of the largest bird migrations on the planet. Occurring mainly at night, hundreds of millions of birds migrate through Texas and are subject to light pollution each year.

Zooming in

Lights from buildings in urban areas can have several harmful effects on migrating birds, including disorientation and confusion, according to the news release. These factors can lead to exhaustion, making them vulnerable to collisions with buildings. According to the Texas Conservation Alliance website, up to one billion birds are lost to collisions in the U.S. every year.

Residents and business owners can certify their buildings to celebrate their commitment to the campaign.

According to the news release, high-rise buildings in downtown Fort Worth have already joined the mission to help save the lives of birds as they begin their spring migration. Decorative lighting on the future city hall building—located at 100 Energy Way—is dimmed year-round during late-night hours, not just during peak bird migration.

Quote of note

"With a flick of a switch, you can be part of a nationwide effort to dramatically reduce the hundreds of millions of birds killed by collisions with brightly lit buildings,” said Garrett Boone, co-founder of The Container Store and board chair of The Boone Family Foundation, a Dallas-based organization committed to promoting environmental stewardship.