By Vic Gideon
Published May 15, 2023
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Lights Out Cleveland volunteers begin their day at five or six a.m. and their work is done by eight-thirty in the morning during migration season.
“The birds that live here know where the buildings are,” said volunteer Rich Nicholls, “but the ones that are migrating, they get confused.”
The volunteers collect about three thousand birds a year, working from March 15 to June 1, then again from August 15 to November 1. About one-third found are alive and nursed back to health.
“If you get the building owners to turn off the lights, there will be less collisions,” Nicholls explained about their calls for ‘lights out.’
“Cleveland is unique in the way of all the other Ohio cities because it has the most bird strikes,” said Kim Jansen, another volunteer. “In the spring migration, you have all the birds coming from the south and then they rest here and then feed up before they have to make that long trip over Lake Erie.”
The group collects data and then presents it to building owners if there are excessive bird strikes at a particular location.
“Even if it’s just one bird, it’s one bird that may have died if you didn’t intercede,” said Jansen
And the group says it can always use more help and is calling for volunteers.
“More people who are out here, the more routes we can check, the more buildings we can check and hopefully save some more lives,” said Jansen. “As a bird watcher and a bird lover that’s what makes it important.”
Lights Out volunteers said their work will be even more important with new construction downtown and more glass in Cleveland’s future.
This article was originally published on Cleveland19: https://www.cleveland19.com/2023/05/15/bird-rescue-group-patrolling-downtown-cleveland-streets-through-spring-migration/