Skip to contents
Citywide

Want To Help Birds Flying South For The Winter? Turn Off Your Lights This Weekend

Animal Care and Control is urging Chicagoans to turn off their lights this weekend to help the thousands of birds migrating through Chicago.

Pexels
  • Credibility:

CHICAGO — Millions of birds will fly south for the winter this weekend — and Chicago Animal Care and Control is urging residents to make the trip easier for them. 

Nearly 14 million birds across Illinois are preparing to journey south this weekend as temperatures up north begin to cool, with about 38,000 starting out their trips in the Chicago area, according to an Animal Care and Control Facebook post.

RELATED: Up To 200 Birds A Night Die Crashing Into McCormick Place Windows. Turning Off Half The Lights Could Save Them, Study Finds

Animal Care is asking Chicagoans to turn off, dim or lower their lights in and around their homes over the next few days to prevent birds from dying.

“City lights confuse birds, which cause collisions with buildings,” according to Animal Control. “Each year, an estimated 365 to 988 million birds die after colliding with buildings. But there are some small things we can all do to make migration safer.”

The post, which features information from the Birdcast website, suggests how people can best help the animals:

  • Turn off all non-essential lights 11 p.m.-6 a.m
  • Do not use landscape lighting to light up trees or gardens where birds may be resting.
  • Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light emitted from windows.
  • Aim lights down.
  • Use lighting shields to direct light downwards and to avoid light shining into the sky or trees.
  • Use motion detectors and sensors so lights are only on when you need them.

RELATED: Chicago’s The Most Dangerous City For Migrating Birds In The Fall. Here’s How To Help Them

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: