Lights Out: Bill To Limit Artificial Outdoor Lights in NYS To Protect Birds
Chances are you haven't given this topic too much thought, but I suppose the idea kind of makes sense.
Last week, two New York State lawmakers introduced legislation that would limit outdoor lighting at night in order to provide protection to migrating birds.
Essentially, the proposed bill is meant to prevent birds who travel in the dark at night, from becoming disoriented by bright lights and in turn striking buildings.
Spectrum News 1, on January 6th, reported that the measure would require most non-essential outdoor lighting be turned off by 11pm, be motion activated, or be covered by an external shield.
Two state lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation meant to limit outdoor lighting at night in order to better protect migrating birds. Manhattan Senator Brad Holyman and Albany Assemblywoman Pat Fahy are the two lawmakers behind the bill, titled the Dark Skies Act.
It was reported that yearly, in New York City alone, an estimated 90,000 to 230,000 birds are killed as a result of striking buildings.
This is not the first measure aimed at providing protection to birds migrating at night. In 2014 Albany brought forth a bill to reduce excess light from state-owned buildings, this according to Senator Holyman. “Buildings don’t have to be bird killers. On just one night this autumn, building workers found over 200 migratory birds dead at the base of two buildings in Manhattan."
Senator Fahy shared similar sentiments as her hope is to help reduce the number of bird deaths overall across the state, while also reducing night pollution and "setting a national example for action that can be taken to address this issue.'
The Audubon Society reports that while the lights can indeed cause birds to fly off their migration paths, bird fatalities are more directly caused by exhaustion from the amount of energy birds are wasting flying around and calling out in confusion.
According to a statement on the Lights Out, Providing Safe Passage for Nocturnal Migrants page:
Every year, billions of birds migrate north in the spring and south in the fall, the majority of them flying at night, navigating with the night sky. However, as they pass over big cities on their way, they can become disoriented by bright artificial lights and skyglow, often causing them to collide with buildings or windows.
The bill recently introduced has backing from both Audubon New York, and NYC Audubon.
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