Every year nearly two billion birds fly through Texas - both in spring and autumn - on their migratory paths. Most of these birds travel at night. Lights emitting from buildings - especially high-rise structures - combined with birds' inability to discern glass windows, can confuse and disorient the creatures. To protect the bird population, the Lights Out initiative makes the following recommendations...

GENERAL LIGHTS OUT GUIDELINES AS SUGGESTED BY AUDUBON TEXAS

  • Turn off all non-essential lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night during migration season. This goes for homeowners and business owners alike.
  • Do not use landscape lighting to light up trees/gardens where birds may be resting.
  • Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light being emitted from windows.
dark sky lighting principles
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LIGHTS OUT GUIDELINES FOR BUILDINGS TALLER THAN THREE STORIES

  • Extinguish or dim: Exterior and decorative lighting (i.e. spotlights, logos, clock faces, greenhouses and antenna lighting); lobby/atrium lighting; and lighting in perimeter rooms on all levels of the building.
  • Avoid: Floodlights; illuminating interior plants or fountains, and unoccupied floors; scheduling cleaning crews after dark; and blue-rich white light emissions (lighting with a color temperature of over 3000 Kelvin).
  • Use: Desk lamps or task lighting rather than overhead lights; blinking lighting in place of continuously burning lights; and warm light sources (less than 3000 Kelvin) for outdoor lighting. -  Audubon Texas

Bird flocks' spring migration typically runs from March 1 – June 15; fall migration runs from August 15 – November 30. These are the recommended dates for practicing the Lights Out guidelines.

Granted, the Big Country region of Texas does not have many tall buildings. However, light pollution is a real thing (for people too), and it affects our feathered friends even here in West Texas.

TEXAS COMMUNITIES CURRENTLY PARTICIPATING IN LIGHTS OUT INITIATIVE

Hill Country/Austin area

  • City of Austin, Office of Sustainability
  • City of Buda
  • City of Dripping Springs
  • City of Fredericksburg
  • City of Kyle
  • City of San Marcos
  • City of Wimberly
  • City of Woodcreek
  • Hays County
  • Travis County

Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area

  • City of Cedar Hill
  • City of Dallas
  • City of Farmers Branch
  • City of Fort Worth
  • City of Frisco
  • Ellis County
  • Rockwall County

Houston/Gulf Coast area

  • City of Houston
  • City of College Station
  • City of Galveston
  • City of League City
  • City of San Antonio

West Texas area

  • City of El Paso

South Texas area

  • City of Brownsville
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TWEET TWEET: These Are the Most Commonly Seen Birds in Texas

Stacker compiled a list of the most common birds seen in Texas from Project FeederWatch.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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