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Lights Out programs across North America

Lights Out
Here lie the birds killed while striking a set of buildings surveyed during the migration season in 2013 in Washington D.C. The birds were picked up by the group Lights Out DC and include Worm-eating and Black-and-white Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, American Woodcock, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Cooper’s Hawk, Swamp and Song Sparrows, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and other species. Photo by the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Birds collide with buildings, especially windows, with astonishing frequency. A 2014 study in the journal The Condor found that between 365 and 988 million birds are killed annually by building collisions in the United States. And in 2019, research published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment revealed that Chicago, Houston, and Dallas are the most dangerous cities for migratory birds in the lower 48 states in both spring and fall.

Fortunately, conservation groups and individual birders are working to mitigate the problem. You can help! Below is a list of 31 programs in North American cities (listed alphabetically by state or province), plus Costa Rica, that encourage building owners to turn off unnecessary lights during migratory periods. Some of the programs also manage volunteer efforts to collect birds that hit buildings and rescue those that are injured. To get involved, visit an organizer’s website.

Lights Out San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Audubon

Lights Out Denver
Denver, Colorado
Denver Parks & Recreation

Lights Out Wilmington
Wilmington, Delaware
Delmarva Ornithological Society


Lights Out DC
Washington, D.C.
City Wildlife

Lights Out Atlanta and Project Safe Flight Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Audubon Society

Chicago Bird Collisions Monitors
Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Audubon Society

Lights Out Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Audubon Society


Lights Out Indy
Indianapolis, Indiana
Amos Butler Audubon

Lights Out Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Bird Club

Avian Collision Team
Boston, Massachusetts
Mass Audubon 

Avian Collision Team
Boston, Massachusetts
Mass Audubon


Safe Passage Great Lakes
Detroit, Ann Arbor, and other cities in Michigan
Detroit Audubon, Michigan Audubon, and Washtenaw Audubon

Lights Out Minnesota
Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Rochester, and other cities in Minnesota
Minnesota Audubon

Lights Out New York
New York, New York
New York City Audubon


Project Safe Flight
New York, New York
New York City Audubon

Lights Out Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Mecklenburg Audubon

Bird Collision Project – Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Duke University

Raleigh Lights Out
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wake Audubon


Lights Out Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Forsyth Audubon

Ohio Lights Out
Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo, Ohio
Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative

Safe Passage Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City Audubon

Safe Wings Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club


FLAP Canada
Toronto, Ontario
Fatal Light Awareness Program

Lights Out Bend
Bend, Oregon
East Cascades Audubon Society

Lights Out Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland Audubon

BirdSafe Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Museum of Natural History


Lights Out Salt Lake
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tracy Aviary

Charlottesville Area Window Watch
Charlottesville, Virginia

Wisconsin Night Guardians for Songbirds
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Humane Society

The goal of this program is to help protect the natural dark night along bird flyways.
Light Pollution Abatement Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
Facebook page

Proyecto Colisión Aves Y Ventanas Costa Rica

A project to protect birds from hitting windows in Costa Rica.


More Resources

Just Save Birds
The website of Heidi Trudell, one of the leading researchers into bird/window collisions.

Acopian Center for Ornithology, Muhlenberg College
Resources from Dr. Daniel Klem, an ornithologist who has studied the window collision problem in-depth.

Updated, 3/23/20

If you know of a program that should be listed here but isn’t, please let us know!


Prevent birds from hitting windows with these products

Originally Published

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