Connecticut Audbon Society

Simple changes to the state’s outdoor lighting regulations will make Connecticut safer for birds

April 17, 2024—With spring migration peaking soon, efforts to reduce the number of birds that die when they crash into windows and buildings are at the forefront.

Connecticut Audubon and its members are part of the solution. This week we collaborated with the Lights Out Coalition of Connecticut to propose simple changes to the state’s outdoor lighting regulations. Those changes are designed to help birds make it safely into and through the state, without crashing into buildings.

Connecticut Audubon is proposing that the state building code be changed so that when outdoor lights are used in new construction, they will be more than 60% dimmer than the current code allows (the proposed reduction is from 2,600 lumens to 1,000 lumens).

That change is crucial for protecting the millions of migratory birds that pass through our state each year. These birds rely on Connecticut’s green spaces—including urban green spaces—for vital rest and refueling during their long journeys.

Most birds migrate at night.  Bright lights can disorient them, causing them to circle needlessly, land in dangerous areas, and collide with buildings.

Estimates are that more than a billion birds a year are killed in North America when they crash into buildings.

How big of a problem is this in Connecticut? The Yale Bird-Friendly Building Initiative has recorded over 2,000 collisions since 2018. That includes over 700 in fall 2022 and 200 in spring 2023. That is just in New Haven, and it is no doubt a significant under count. Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows were among the most common fatalities. 

Connecticut Audubon’s proposal for changing the code was one of 5 submitted by partners in the Lights Out effort. Sierra Club Connecticut, Dark Sky Connecticut, and Lights Out submitted proposals to reduce light pollution in parking areas, landscaping, and building facades.

How can you help? Sign up for our Lights Out alerts. When a busy night of bird migration is predicted, we will send you a text reminding you to turn out your lights.

Additionally, there will be a chance for the public to officially support the changes that we and the other organizations have proposed for the building code. By signing up for the Lights Out alerts, you will be on the list of people we contact to send an email of support.

Click this button to sign up for Lights Out Alerts!






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