Every spring and fall, millions of birds migrate through Ohio on their way to or from their breeding grounds. Many migrate at night and use lunar paths and starfields to navigate. The bright lights from tall buildings can draw birds toward the city and cause them to become disoriented and confused. They may crash into windows or fly around the illuminated area until they become exhausted and fall. You can help by turning out your lights from midnight to dawn during migration seasons. Check out the migration map at the bottom of this page to see how many species travel right through our area each year!
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Nature Center, and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden are collaborating to study and reduce this phenomenon in our region as part of the National Audubon Society Lights Out project.
The Big Picture
400 million to 1 billion
Estimated number of bird deaths caused by window collisions each year in the U.S. Tens of thousands of birds migrate through the Ohio Valley each spring and fall. We just don't notice because it often happens in the middle of the night.
Percent decrease in bird collisions in downtown Chicago when they dimmed and extinguished much of the downtown lighting.
U.S. cities with Lights Out Programs, including Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Toronto, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Cleveland.
The Year of the Bird and the 100th anniversary of the of the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act protecting over 800 species of birds saving billions of birds' lives.
Check out the amazing migration map from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology