Saturday, October 8 is World Migratory Bird Day, and this year’s theme is “Dim the Lights for Birds at Night.”

Light pollution attracts and disorients nocturnally migrating birds, making them more likely to land in areas where they are more vulnerable to collisions and other dangers. At least 100 million birds die every year from colliding with buildings in the United States alone.

That’s why Friends of Animals has joined with other members of the Lights Out NYC Coalition to press the City Council to pass legislation to help protect migratory birds. One of the lifesaving “Lights Out” measures requires city-owned or leased businesses to shut off non-essential lighting during peak migratory periods and times.

The good news is being a bird advocate on the homefront is easy. By turning off your excess lights and making seasonal lighting changes during the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 15., you can help migratory birds safely navigate through the night sky to their destination.

Lighting changes include:

⦿ Turning off spotlights and/or decorative lighting
⦿ Turning off or dim interior lights, especially on upper floors
⦿ Substituting task and area lighting or draw blinds/shades after 11 p.m.
⦿ Down-shield exterior safety lighting or limit to ground level
⦿ Putting outdoor lighting on timers and/or motion sensors, where possible
⦿ Reducing lobby and atrium lighting, where possible
⦿ Substituting strobe lighting for safety, where possible

Artificial light also impacts birds in the breeding and winter seasons, disrupting feeding and other vital behaviors. Because artificial light affects birds in so many ways, it is impossible to know just how many birds are impacted by light pollution every year around the globe.

But it’s empowering to know you can become a lights out advocate and be part of the solution, not the problem.