Earlier this year, Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer proclaimed the months of March-May and September-November as “Migratory Bird Awareness Months.”
Countless birds migrate at night using naturally occuring light cues like the moon and stars, but light pollution from urban spots (like Asheville) disrupt our feathered friends along their nighttime journeys by drawing birds away from their natural paths towards cities. This leaves them susceptible to threats like fatal window collisions and predation.
Fortunately, the Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter and the Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville have created the Lights Out! program to help protect resident and migratory birds.
Here’s how to take part:
- Turn off unnecessary indoor and outdoor lighting
- Put lighting on timers or use motion sensors
- Use warmer-temperature LED lighting outdoors
- Down shield external lighting
- Dim or extinguish lobby or atrium lighting
- Close blinds or curtains at night to help prevent disruptive light leakage
Pro tip: it’s especially important to do these things between the hours of midnight and sunrise as that’s when most night migrants are busy flying.