BEND, OR -- The East Cascades Audubon Society has launched a voluntary project to help songbirds and pollinating insects migrate more safely. The High Desert Museum and Deschutes Public Library are among the local organizations participating in "Lights Out Bend," which encourages everyone to shut off unnecessary lighting from dusk until dawn.
The Audubon Society's Mary Ann Kruse tells KBND News, "Light pollution is very easy to correct. It is the simplest of pollutions that we can turn around, and the way to do that is simply to turn off all unnecessary lighting from dusk to dawn and be aware that unnecessary lighting does affect wildlife and humans alike." She adds, "A lot of songbirds migrate at night, especially during spring and fall migrations, and they are attracted to light and come into our cities, that are very well-lit, they get trapped by being drawn to those lights, and frequently, they collide with windows trying to get to the interior lights. We lose 1 billion birds a year, nationwide."
The Lights Out Bend campaign
is designed to educate people about the negative impacts of light pollution and how birds benefit from a little extra darkness. "Turn off unnecessary lighting, ideally in spring and fall migrations," says Kruse, "And hopefully, year round, we can mitigate the number of bird and wildlife deaths, and perhaps, improve our own human health."