CLEVELAND– A campaign is encouraging Cleveland buildings to turn out the lights at night in an effort to save migratory birds.
Ohio Lights Out and Lights Out Cleveland said building collisions are the leading cause of death in birds during migration in North America, resulting in about a half a billion fatalities each year.
“Although we all enjoy the beauty of Cleveland’s skyline, many are unaware of the impact these buildings have on our beautiful migrating birds,” Lights Out Cleveland said on its website.
“Many of the warblers, orioles, thrushes, and other songbirds migrate through Cleveland at night, using the stars to orient their flight. When there is fog or a cloud layer, birds are no longer able to see the stars and can mis-orient and start tracking artificial lights, particularly around tall buildings.”
Lights Out Chicago reported 80 percent fewer collisions after reducing lighting at night.
About a dozen Cleveland-area buildings participate in the program, including Fifth Third Center, One Cleveland Center and Skylight Office Tower. The program also gets support from the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, which rehabilitated and released more than 700 birds in 2017.
Lights Out Cleveland is looking for volunteers to help collect injured and deceased birds around downtown Cleveland buildings. The deceased animals are taken to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for research.