High-rise buildings in the path of migratory birds pose a serious threat. These feathered friends have trouble while navigating at night. Many of them collide with the skyscrapers and die. There have been such incidents in the past, and Philadelphia has decided to dim its lights. The city falls in the migration route of the birds, and dimming lights could save many of them when they fly through the city at night.

Some buildings in Philadelphia will participate in the Lights Out Philly initiative. This is a voluntary program and involves switching off or reducing the intensity of lights at night.

It will be in operation until the end of the month. This nature would help the birds avoid crashing into the tall structures that man has created. These dot the skyline and act as obstacles to the smooth flight of the birds. In April 2019, a news item highlighted skyscrapers killing billions of migratory birds that collide with them in the United States.

Save the birds campaign

Last fall, Philadelphia witnessed the death of more than 1000 birds in the city. The sight of dead birds led to the creation of the Bird Safe Philly group. An expert explains that birds are vulnerable when flying at lower altitudes. Daily Mail UK says they navigate by using natural elements like the sun, moon, and stars.

He is Robert Peck, a senior fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University. He says the birds are not accustomed to the bright lights of cities. When they come across these artificial sources of light, they lose their orientation. As a result, they fly into the buildings and crash into them. The presence of these lights from different directions confuses them, and the worst happens.

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The death of millions of birds is a matter of concern

Record is not available on the number of migratory birds that die every year after colliding with buildings or other outdoor structures. They migrate every year, and scientists estimate the figure to be in millions. Daily Mail UK mentions last October when the Philadelphia sky saw thousands of birds as they flew into the skyscrapers.

It was described as the largest such event in seven decades, with the ground littered with dead or dying birds. One line of thinking is that the weather conditions might have had some role in this catastrophe. It seems climate change and other predators threaten many species of migratory birds. The first bird death in Philadelphia goes back to the 1890s. It was then that the Academy of Natural Sciences began to maintain data on the “window kills.” Later in 1999, the National Audubon Society launched the Lights Out program. It is intended to protect migrating birds. The concept has spread to other cities in the United States.

Philadelphia will dim its lights so that birds can avoid buildings

According to CNN, fog and rain are quite common during spring and autumn.

This sort of weather forces the migratory birds to fly at lower altitudes. When it is dark, the bright city lights leave them disoriented and confused. They try to avoid the buildings in their path and crash into them. Thousands of these feathered friends have died because of this. Philadelphia has identified some buildings that would dim their lights. It will be a voluntary measure until May 30. "Bird Safe Philly" will coordinate this. Buildings participating in these efforts will switch off unnecessary lights from midnight to 6 a.m. This will apply to higher floors while the intensity of lights in lobbies and atriums will be reduced. The purpose would be to save the birds that pass over the city as a part of their semiannual migrations.