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Protecting our birds with Lights Out Indy

Bird migration is in full swing this fall. Here’s how you can help our little feathered friends fly safely over Indy.

A flock of silhouetted birds fly in front of a full moon.

Minimizing “light trespass” can help migratory birds rely on delicately balanced circadian rhythms that regulate many natural instincts.

Photo by Fatih Doğrul

It’s that time of the year, y’all. Pumpkin spice lattes are in full swing, a few overzealous trees are starting their colorful transformation, and bird migration is underway.

Up to 29 million birds fly over Indiana at night in the fall. The bright artificial lights of cities — which create a phenomenon called sky glow — can cause traveling birds to become disoriented and crash into buildings or windows.

Enter Lights Out Indy, one branch of a nationwide effort to help reduce migratory bird deaths by increasing awareness and encouraging building owners to turn off non-essential lights during peak migration months.

Here’s how you can help the birds:

  • Turn off non-essential outdoor lights.
  • Aim outdoor lights down toward the ground.
  • Install motion sensors on outside lights to limit their use.
  • Close blinds to reduce light emission to the outdoors.
  • Use warm outdoor lights (less than 3,000 Kelvin).
  • Switch to lighting products that are DarkSky Approved.
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