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  • Bird Friendly Team Member - Penny

Our migratory birds are returning! Simple steps to keep them safe


By now you’ll have noticed the return of many of our migratory birds, including American Robins and tiny Rufous Hummingbirds. Stop for a second and think about their incredible journeys over thousands of miles to make it back to Lions Bay… for such small creatures, these long trips are truly one of nature’s miracles.

Did you know that nearly all songbirds and even some shorebirds and waterfowl migrate at night? One of the greatest dangers they face is the ever-increasing presence of artificial lights during their journeys. Birds are attracted to- and disoriented by lights, which can lead to collisions and other serious dangers. Window strikes are one of the leading causes of death for migratory birds in particular. But we can each take a few simple steps to reduce the impact of light pollution on birds, for example:


1. Direct all outdoor lighting downward. Place lights to illuminate only the floor or the ground and use lighting shields to prevent light shining into the sky.

2. Turn off lights by midnight during bird migration seasons (April – May and August – September). It is particularly important to take these measures as early in the evening as possible, because birds begin their nocturnal migrations at dusk during spring and fall migration periods.

3. Reduce the amount of light outside your home or place of business. Turn off all non-essential nighttime lights. For essential lights, such as security lighting, use timers or motion detectors to keep usage to a minimum. And always use the minimum wattage necessary for the task at hand.

4. Change the color of your lights from cool to warm. Studies suggest that green and blue light attracts more nocturnally migrating birds than red, orange, or yellow light. Use light bulbs that emit warm lighting to minimize disturbance to birds.

5. Share the message to “dim the lights for birds at night.” Speak to family and friends and share these messages through social media and other outlets to increase awareness of this important issue.

Keep an eye on your mailbox for a useful guide that outlines more ways to make your home safer for birds (donated by the BC SPCA and Nature Canada). And click here to read more about how we can each do our part to protect our birds.


And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our first Bird Friendly community event to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 14th! There’ll be something for the whole family, including two fun activities for kids, a walk to see the eagles lead by John Dudley, burgers on the grill by the Curly Stewart committee, tea/coffee by the Seniors’ Social Circle and displays by the Bear Smart, Native Plant Garden, Howe Sound Biosphere Region and Bird Friendly teams. See you there!


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