Fort Worth Goes Dark to Help Bird Migration in Texas and Limit Light Pollution

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Texas is located in a migratory route for birds going between the U.S. and Canada. But each year, between 365 million to 988 million birds are killed thanks to light pollution, a phenomenon where excessive artificial light starts to disrupt the natural ecosystem. Essentially, the artificial lights disorient migrating birds, causing them to run into buildings.

But Former First Lady Laura Bush, environmentalists, and bird lovers joined forces to get the city of Fort Worth to the dim lights between 12 a.m to 6 a.m. during spring and fall migration periods. March through October is nesting season. During this critical time, it’s important not to move or disturb the birds.

Headed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Cornell Lights Out Campaign convinced city officials and the owners of high-rise buildings to shut off their decorative lights. Laura Bush’s organization, Texan By Nature, helped by boosting the campaign, and the former First Lady herself wrote letters to several building owners. Many bird-watchers and researchers are hoping the move will become indefinite, and even spread to nearby cities like Dallas or become state-wide. 

Andrew David Stewart is a Los Angeles-based content creator and musician. He loves the outdoors and road trips and is passionate about progressive ideals, learning, and laughter.