Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spring Migration

Every spring, millions of birds leave their winter homes in the south and return to their breeding areas in North America. Learn more about spring migration and which birds you can expect to see in your yard during this season of renewal!

Spring Migration In Your Area

Navigating primarily by the stars, night-migrating birds become disoriented by city lights. They confuse the billions of human-made lights in tall city buildings with starlight--especially in foggy or rainy weather, and especially after midnight, when the birds begin to descend from their peak migration altitude.

Once disoriented, many birds collide with the buildings and fall to the sidewalks below. Others, like moths attracted to light, flutter around the lighted windows until they are exhausted. Birds by the hundreds and even thousands can be injured or killed in a single night at just one building.

The problem is greatest in cities along flyways and along large bodies of water (such as lakeshores or rivers), which birds follow during migration. Many song birds evolved migrating at night, when predators retire and winds die down, and human-made lights interfere with nature's ways.

New York City adopted a Lights Out policy for office buildings and it has paved the way for other cities to do the same. Here's a site that can give you information if you are interested in joining or even starting a bird-rescue initiative in your city. It saves birds.

Night Migration - Turning Off the City Lights

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