The US city of Philadelphia is dimming its lights to try and prevent migrating birds from slamming into skyscrapers and crashing onto pavements.
Bird Safe Philly announced the Lights Out Philly initiative, a voluntary programme in which as many external and internal lights in buildings are turned off or dimmed at night during the spring and autumn.
The problem of artificial lights attracting birds to their deaths in the city is not new. “We have specimens in the academy’s ornithology collection from a kill that happened when lights were first installed on Philadelphia’s City Hall tower in 1896,” said Jason Weckstein, associate curator of ornithology at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences. The coalition, which includes Audubon Mid-Atlantic, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and two local Audubon chapters, formed after the city’s largest mass-collision event in 70 years was reported last October. Hundreds of dead birds were found around the city.