Turning off lights can save migrating birds from crashing into buildings

Every night during the spring and fall migration seasons, thousands of birds are killed when they crash into illuminated windows, disoriented by the light. But a new study in PNAS shows that darkening just half of a building’s windows can make a big difference for birds. Using decades’ worth of data and birds collected by Field Museum scientists at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, the researchers found that on nights when half the windows were darkened, there were 11 times fewer bird collisions during spring migration and 6 times fewer collisions during fall migration than when all the windows were lit.

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