FAQs

Q: When do most glass impacts occur?
A: Most glass impacts happen during the spring and fall migration periods (roughly March 17 to June 7 and August 20 to October 25, respectively) when the concentration of birds in flight is at its highest.

Q: How does light contribute to bird deaths?
A: Many bird species tend to migrate at night when it is easier to navigate by the moon and stars. Unfortunately, the light emanating from downtown buildings can attract birds, causing them to become disoriented, where they either collide into the windows or fly aimlessly until exhausted and die. Light attraction is particularly worse during cloudy nights when birds often fly at lower altitudes.

Q: Is Lights Out! Wilmington considered a “green” project?
A: Yes! By joining Lights Out! Wilmington, you will not only help in preventing bird deaths, but also reduce the amount of energy used for unnecessary building illumination. This in turn lessens greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to an overall healthier environment. For each building that limits unnecessary lighting during the spring and fall migrations, approximately 1,050 hours of energy annually will be conserved. For every 20 buildings that participate, over 1 million pounds of C02 (greenhouse gas emissions) will be eliminated from Wilmington’s atmosphere!

Q: How many birds die annually due to glass impact?
A: Researchers who have studied the data on bird strike mortality conservatively estimate that between 45 million and one billion birds die each year as a result of flying into buildings. Conservative estimates place the annual number of bird deaths in Wilmington due to glass impact at nearly 1000.

Q: What can be done to prevent needless bird deaths?
A: All tall buildings should turn off exterior and interior perimeter lighting after 10:00 p.m. each night during peak spring and fall migration periods. It’s just that simple!

Q: How many other North American cities have a Lights Out program?
A: Currently, over 17 cities have organized Lights Out programs, including New York and Chicago, where participation approaches nearly 100%!

Q: Will data be collected in the Lights Out! Wilmington project?
A: Yes, Glass Strike Monitors (GSMs) will be patrolling designated buildings during the early morning hours to obtain specimens, take photographs and rescue injured birds. This data will be entered into a database maintained by the Delmarva Ornithological Society.



Be a part of Lights Out! Wilmington.
Sign up your building, office or apartment and make a difference in the life of migratory birds and the environment.