The Philadelphia skyline will go mostly dark at nighttime starting on April 1 to protect the migrating birds from being fatally drawn to the lights.
On Wednesday, March 11, Bird Safe Philly announced that the city of Philadelphia will be joining the nationwide Lights Out Program to help protect migrating birds from being fatally drawn to the flashing lights of our skyscrapers.
Created by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, Audubon Mid-Atlantic, and the Valley Forge and Wyncote local Audubon Society Chapters, the environmental program hopes to address “a variety of issues that can harm birds in urban areas, especially issues that can cause birds to collide with buildings and other human-made structures,” according to Bird Safe’s website.
The initiative was inspired by a worrying report made by the Philadelphia Inquirer back in October of 2020 when it said that an estimated 1,500 birds flew into buildings overnight on October 2.
Some of the city’s most renowned skyscrapers such as the BNY Mellon Center, the Comcast Towers, and One Liberty Place among others have already to join the initiative to protect Philadelphia’s native birds. Several other building operators and owners have also pledged to support this effort, while many landlords will be asking tenants to voluntarily turn off their indoor lights.
The first season of Lights Out Philly will start next month on Thursday, April 1, at the peak of spring migration and will last through May 31, the second round will start on August 15 and will last through November 15 as birds return South.
During this time, all participating buildings will turn off their top lights starting at midnight through to 6 a.m., a measure that according to the Inquirer will help greatly reduce the casualties.
Philly will now join 33 other cities who have already initiated similar Lights Out programs, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta and D.C.
[Featured image: Instagram / @unrulydiplomats]