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Bird Safe Philly wants you to turn off the lights – to save birds
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Bird Safe Philly wants you to turn off the lights – to save birds

Thousands of birds die annually by running into city windows. We can change that.

Last October, Philly saw its largest mass bird-building collision in 70 years.

One billion birds are estimated to collide with US buildings and structures each year, often due to artificial lights and/or glass. This is especially the case at night, when artificial lights can distort them, or during cloudy and rainy weather.

Now, a local group is raising awareness and asking residents to turn the lights off. Lights Out Philly will run from April 1 – May 31. Tenants, building owners and homeowners are asked to turn off their lights from midnight to 6 AM. Plus, turning the switch is one of the single most effective ways to save energy AND save you money. One municipal building in Toronto saved over $200,000 in a single year by participating in this program.

Philadelphia City Councilmembers Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large) and Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) recently introduced a resolution in support of the Lights Out initiative.

“By participating in Bird Safe Philly’s Lights Out program, Philadelphia will not only help to protect these birds by further reducing energy consumption, which can slow climate change, but by also reducing the nocturnal lighting that threatens so many of these birds,” said Keith Russell, Program Manager, Urban Conservation, Audubon Mid-Atlantic.

You may not notice the wildlife, but Philly hosts over 300 species of birds each year, from eagles to hummingbirds.

Bird Safe Philly was created in October 2020 after the October mass collision. Partners include the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, Audubon Mid-Atlantic, Valley Forge Audubon Society and Wyncote Audubon Society.

Photo by Bruce Jastrow on Unsplash


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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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