Texas and Philadelphia have now joined other states in the United States to dim their lights at night. This practice is said to help migratory birds. Some cities in the US have been dimming outdoor lights since 1990.
Lights Out programs have begun in 20 different states including D.C and Toronto. This involves the help of business owners, tenants, and landlords to help migratory birds during spring and fall. These birds make use of celestial clues to travel thousands of miles.
These birds sometimes pass through some of North America’s brightest cities. Too much light blots out the stars, making it difficult for these birds to pass through these routes. They also collide with buildings sometimes.
Loss of habitat, climate change, and feral cats among others impact the populations of birds across the country, and collisions with powerlines and buildings can be a major problem. The latest Lights Out Program is being observed in Texas and Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia, different advocates are making efforts to get businesses and big apartments to dim their lights. One of the advocates is the Building Owners and Managers Association of Philadelphia, BOMA.
We have some early adopters and the list is approaching 20 buildings, many of which are iconic and very recognizable members of the Philadelphia skyline, such as One and Two Liberty Place, Comcast Technology Center and Comcast Center, Mellon Bank Building, and all of Brandywine Realty Trust’s Center City and University City buildings.BOMA executive
Several animals such as white-throated sparrows, gray catbirds, common yellowthroats, and ovenbirds can be disturbed by light pollution and reflective glass. In Texas, Texan By Nature, a nonprofit established by Laura Bush, has brought about different Lights Out initiatives. According to Bush, she aims to achieve a dark Texas sky, where birds can have a safe flight on their way home.