How Texans can help migrating birds this Spring? Turn off your lights

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

Texas is s globally important state for birds. Approximately 1 of every 3 birds migrating through the United States in Spring, and 1 of every 4 birds migrating through the fall, pass through Texas. 

Protecting birds in Texas promotes the conservation of bird populations across the Americas. 

Lights Out, Texas

The Problem:

U.S. bird populations are declining rapidly, with 1 out of every 4 birds lost since 1970. An estimated one billion U.S. bird deaths occur annually from collisions with buildings and structures, with migratory species at most risk. Attraction and disorientation resulting from light pollution concentrate migrant birds in cities.

Why It Matters:

Birds are essential to our planet’s ecology – and local economies. Birds provide ecosystem services, act as benchmarks for environmental health, increase livability, and connect people of all ages and abilities to the natural world.

Birds also support the Texas economy. In the Rio Grande Valley alone, Texas A&M found that nature tourism – which is dominated by bird watching – contributes $300 million to the economy and supports 4,407 full and part-time jobs annually.

Here’s How You Can Make a Difference:

Building owners, businesses, developers, and homeowners can help protect migrating birds by turning off all non-essential nighttime lighting on buildings and other structures from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night from April, 19 through May, 7.