Lights Out Alert for Thursday, May 18
May 18, 2023 — It looks like another big night for migrating birds — a Lights Out High Alert night.
Please make sure you turn out your lights tonight to prevent birds from getting killed.
As migrating birds pass over brightly lit cities, skyglow drowns out the stars, confusing them and luring them into urban areas. Once trapped in the windowed maze of the city, birds either hit buildings directly or circle them until they collapse from exhaustion. If you find a dead bird, report it to dBird.org.
Lights Out Connecticut is an effort to help prevent birds from being distracted by artificial light in our state: www.lightsoutct.org.
Ken Elkins, director of Connecticut Audubon’s Coastal Center at Milford Point and also our Lights Out expert, explained in an email why migration forecasts can be so difficult:
“If the migration conditions are better to the south, birds take off from NJ, PA, etc, and fly a few hundred miles for the early part of the night, and then then they encounter rain over ct, that’s the formula for a fallout. If it’s bad weather to the south, moving north, then birds leave CT, but aren’t replaced by birds from the south, which sadly was the conditions this past Tuesday morning, and appears it might be the set up for Saturday morning here again.
“Looking further (i.e., to Saturday), there will be a E to W component of the wind, so any birds south of us will be influenced to head up through NY, not as much towards us. And not much movement south of PA on Friday night. Birds often migrate at 25-45 mph, up to 8-10 hours, so we need to look about 250-450 miles southwest of us for what birds might be here in the morning.
“Low cloud cover and fog would increase our chances of birds landing here, especially near the coast. “