SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Tracy Aviary is begging Utahns to turn off your house lights at night to protect our feathered friends while they migrate.
Just like moths to a flame, migrating birds are attracted to city lights.
Lucila Fernandez is a Conservation Outreach Specialist for the aviary; she explained, “It sucks them in where they’re not familiar, and on top of that there are buildings and windows that are reflective and they often strike the windows and die from that collision.” It’s not just a few birds killed by collision; conservative estimates count 250 million flyers every year are killed this way.
Fernandez said, “Birds flying over are an indicator for the health of an environment, so if we’re seeing birds affected in large numbers because of light pollution, you better believe that we’re also affected by that same light pollution.”
August through October is a heavy migratory season for more than 300 kinds of birds who fly over and around the Wasatch mountains. Tracy Aviary is encouraging residents to turn their lights off between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., peak travel time. In lieu of turning off your lights completely, scientists recommend using motion sensors, choosing a lower light temperature, or using a light shield.
For more light saving tips or to learn more about the Community Science program, visit the Tracy Aviary website.