Do lights in high-rise buildings kill birds? -

Lights in high-rise buildings confuse birds

When Stephen Doughton moved into his uptown Charlotte, N. C. apartment, he knew he would appreciate a different view of the city.

"It's a little higher," said Stephen. But he never thought he would get so up close with Mother Nature. "I realized a bird had flown into my window and it was sitting there dead!"

Millions of birds like the one Stephen met fall victim to the nighttime skyline.

"We can find dead birds or we can find live birds that we would then take to rehabilitate," said Lights Out Coordinator Jill Palmer.

The culprit: Lights on tall buildings can confuse the birds.

"They will continue to circle the building until they either get exhausted and fall or they crash into the glass or the side of the building," said Stephen.

The Audubon Society has found more than 40 dead migratory birds including warblers, thrushes and raptors.

"These birds winter in Central and South America; they are mostly in the mountainous areas as close as North Carolina, as far up as Canada where they spend the summers breeding," said Palmer.

They hope data they gather will mean lights out for building owners.

"We want to remind them to turn off their lights during that migration period only," said Palmer.

That's a challenge these bird lovers hope residents will take as well.

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