Migratory birds: Residents of Chicago high-rises urged to turn off lights and draw blinds after 11 p.m. during bird migration season


CHICAGO (WLS) — As the birds begin to migrate through Chicago on their way to their winter homes, residents are urged to do their part to help protect them.

As part of the “Lights Out Chicago” campaign, residents of high-rise buildings are being asked to turn off their lights or draw their blinds after 11 p.m. during migration season, which runs from late August through November.

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The recommendations apply to all buildings of 40 stories or more and to buildings of 20 stories or more isolated from other buildings.

According to the Chicago Audobon Society, lights from tall buildings can disrupt the migratory paths of birds, causing them to circle buildings repeatedly. As a result, many of them die of exhaustion or after hitting a building.

More than 250 species of birds migrate through Chicago, with approximately 5 million individual birds making the trip each year. According to the Chicago Audobon Society, many birds killed in Loop buildings are small migrants from the tropics, such as warblers, thrushes, tanagers and others.

For more information on the “Chicago Lights Out” program, visit ChicagoAudobon.org.

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