Downtown News

Downtown Dallas will turn Lights Out to save migrating birds' lives

Downtown Dallas will turn Lights Out to save migrating birds' lives

Dallas skyline with reflection
The skyline will be a little dimmer for the next two weeks. joe daniel price/Getty Images

Downtown Dallas and its high-rise buildings have joined in the heroic fight to save the lives of migrating birds.

According to a release from Downtown Dallas, Inc., the skyline will be dimmed over the next 10 days — part of an international initiative called Lights Out Texas, to protect birds as they migrate across the U.S. Light pollution kills birds that are migrating across the state every spring and fall.

The release credits former first lady Laura Bush among the Dallas leaders who've joined the growing movement to dim "unnecessary" tower lights in Downtown Dallas.

The intiative is a partnership between the Texas Conservation Alliance, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Dallas Zoo, and the Perot Museum.

Mrs. Bush, along with Ambassador Jeanne Phillips and Deedie Rose, are urging community participation for Dallas to join the international Lights Out effort. Their effort calls for buildings to turn off or dim their lights though October 10, from midnight to 6 am. Mrs. Bush even made a PSA which you can see here.

Participating buildings as of September 29 include:

  • Hunt building at 2635 Harry Hines Blvd.
  • Reunion Tower at 300 Reunion Blvd. E.
  • KPMG Plaza
  • 1900 Pearl
  • One Arts Plaza

Where are Bank of America Plaza, Renaissance Tower, Comerica Bank Tower, JP Morgan Chase Tower, and Trammell Crow Center? Come on, guys, you don't want to let Mrs. Bush down, do ya?

Every spring and fall, nearly two billion birds travel through Texas — one of the largest migrations on the planet and one that occurs primarily at night.

The release notes that light attracts these migrating birds, making them vulnerable to collisions with buildings. The Audubon Society says that lights throw birds off their migration paths. They get attracted to the bright lights, then fly around, circle aimlessly, cluster up, and call out in confusion. The exhaustion makes them vulnerable to other urban threats. Upwards of one billion birds die in collisions with buildings in the US annually.

Dead birds began showing up on downtown streets in mid-September.

Dallas is ranked No. 3 of the 125 most populous U.S. cities for exposing migrating birds (Houston is No. 2, so we're at least better than them).

Dallas is one of four Texas cities certified as Bird Cities.