News From Your Friends

The Great Migration is Underway! 

May 23, 2023 in Position Statements & Policy Recommendations, Wildlife Habitats

Millions of birds are flying across our night skies each night on their great migration north – traveling the Pacific flyway to their summer homes. Audubon societies across the country are encouraging residents to go “Lights Out” in order to ensure that birds aren’t thrown off their migratory path by light pollution.

Outdoor lighting can be designed to support bird migration. Portland Audubon recommends to “Make sure your exterior light fixtures are well-shielded and not overly bright. Select warm LED bulbs that are under a 3,000 Kelvin rating. During migration seasons, draw blinds or curtains to reduce light spill that contributes to sky glow.”

The International Dark-sky Association has recommendations for lighting that reduce light pollution AND can still keep your property safe. You can make our skies safer for birds today by talking to your spouse, your neighbors, your contractor, your boss, or your local businesses about installing bird safe lighting.

Read more on the Portland Audubon Blog.

Private citizens can do much to improve the night sky for birds, but municipalities and counties can incorporate lighting codes into their development policies.  The Ridgefield Junction is an example of poor lighting practices.  Rather than direct light beams down, the whole sky is lit up.  One can barely see the stars.  It is time to incorporate “dark sky” practices into our commercial light schemes.

Submitted by Mo McKenna, FOCC Board Member