Lights Out in Skyscrapers Can Save Birds

Everyone knows that turning off the lights saves energy — but did you know it can save birds too? Migratory birds are drawn to lights in skyscrapers, an attraction that too often causes them to crash into the buildings’ plate-glass windows or die of exhaustion after flying confusedly around a light source. Chicago has set the bar for addressing the problem; about four years ago it launched a lights-out program that has convinced the managers of the vast majority of big buildings in the city to turn off lights between 11 p.m. and dawn. Toronto has also made notable strides. “There is no environmental issue that is as easy to overcome,” said Michael Mesure of the Fatal Light Awareness Program. “Turn off the lights and the problem disappears.”