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Lights Out Eugene 2023

The birds are coming, and we encourage everybody to get outside and enjoy spring birding and the amazing spectacle of migration. Information about our bird outings (first and third Saturdays) can be found in our newsletter along with our website and social media pages. We have extra binoculars if you want to join us, but need to borrow a pair. Or you can check out a birding kit with binoculars and field guides from the Eugene Public Library.

Now that spring migration has begun, we want to remind our community members about our Lights Out! Program. Artificial lights at night are disruptive to the health of people and wildlife. They may disorient migrating birds, thus increasing the rate of collisions with buildings. Lights Out and Dark Skies programs have been shown to be effective and safe for involved communities. See how you can perform simple actions to protect birds and pollinators. Please Sign our Pledge HERE.

Don’t forget to add your mailing address. Pledge participants will receive a window cling decal to help spread the word and to show your commitment to saving both birds and energy. Please help us launch this program in a big way, as we strive to be a more bird-friendly community!

Lights Out programs and window treatments can dramatically reduce bird mortality. We all dread the sound of a bird hitting a window, but it is comforting to know that there are solutions. I was saddened to read that Flaco, the Eurasion eagle-owl who escaped from the Central Park Zoo, met an untimely death after crashing into a building. Following his breakout from the zoo, he took up residence around Central Park where he captured the hearts of many people (and added to the life list of area birders).

Mt Pisgah Pavillion anti-bird strike window
A gable end of the pavilion with
deterrents in place.

One good thing that did come from his death was the attention brought to the issue by media forums around the country. They reported on the vast toll of bird collisions, (nearly one billion birds killed each year) and, importantly, informed the public about solutions to prevent these deaths. In New York, the Bird Safe Buildings Act will be renamed the FLACO Act (“Feathered Lives Also Count” Act) to honor the impact Flaco had on his many admirers.

This legislation requires the use of bird-friendly material in all new construction and large renovations. We hope this kind of legislation will become common in municipalities across the country. There are also things that we can all do to prevent collisions where we work and live. Birds don’t see glass, so the solution is to put something visible to the birds on our windows. Items that have proven effective when applied to the outside of the windows include “Acopian bird savers,” “Feather friendly” or “Collidescape” strips, bird tape, and closely spaced decals or designs (See link below for more info.)

Ways You Can Help Prevent Bird Collisions

  • Make your windows visible to birds.
  • Turn off unnecessary and decorative lighting.
  • Make sure that outside lights are aimed down and are well shielded.
  • Install motion sensors or timers so that lights are on only when needed.
  • Choose warm bulbs (under 3,000 Kelvins, closer to 2000 is better) with negligible blue light.
  • During migration seasons, draw blinds or curtains to reduce light spill.
  • Reduce lobby and atrium lighting, where possible.
  • Turn off rooftop lighting and exterior architectural lighting not used for security.
  • Turn off the lights before leaving the home or office.
  • FYI: Bird Alliance of Oregon has details.
  • Sign the Pledge HERE.