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  1. #1
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed [1000's of birds]

    For the birds this seems counter-intuitive, but makes far more sense to me once I read this article. (But I'm still giggling about the name "Robert Peck"-what are the odds?)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed thousands of migrating birds


    By Josiah Ryan, CNN
    Updated 2:12 PM ET, Wed May 19, 2021



    Philadelphia's skyline with the lights off (midnight to 6 a.m.) in April 2021.



    (CNN)Nearly twenty buildings in Philadelphia are dimming their lights this spring after thousands of birds perished in the city's largest mass collision in recent history.

    The voluntary measure has been coordinated by "Bird Safe Philly" and continues until May 30 with the purpose of sparing the lives of some of the 100 million birds passing over the City of Brotherly Love on their semiannual migrations.
    To some, it might seem more intuitive to leave the lights on to help birds steer clear of buildings, but Robert Peck, a senior fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, explains most migrating fowl navigate by light; the sun, the moon and the stars.

    Philadelphia's skyline on a summer night.





    Fog and rain, which are quite common in spring and autumn, force birds to fly at lower altitudes. When they see the bright city lights, they are often dazzled, disoriented and confused.





    "Suddenly they have all these lights coming at them from different directions. It's overwhelming," Peck said. "They get turned around and they will fly into buildings and walls."
    The Philadelphia buildings participating in these efforts have agreed to switch unnecessary lights off from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m., especially on higher floors, dimming lights in lobbies and atriums.


    Up to 1,500 birds may have flown into Philadelphia skyscrapers -- in a single day



    One catalyst for this year's effort was a mass collision event on October 2 of last year when thousands of birds perished after striking buildings in the city. Their deceased bodies "littering the sidewalks in downtown Philadelphia," said Peck.
    "The ground was sprinkled with dead and dying birds," he said.
    The effort to lower light pollution is also underway in 33 other US cities, but sadly it will hardly solve the peril faced by airborne fowl. Up to one billion birds die each year when they collide with human structures, according to a news release from "Lights Out Philly." The first bird death from a collision in Philadelphia was recorded in the 1890s, when the Academy of Natural Sciences started collecting "window kills."
    "It's a tough trip for the birds either way so the last thing they need to do is encounter brightly lit buildings," notes Peck.




    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-19-2021 at 03:16 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed [1000's of bi

    Wow! Up to a billion birds die annually from colliding with man made structures. I never would have guessed that many. ☹️
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    Re: Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed [1000's of bi

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    Wow! Up to a billion birds die annually from colliding with man made structures. I never would have guessed that many. ☹️
    Me neither & it's really sad. More awareness is needed, that's why I shared this article- most of us care about all kinds of creatures, not to mention that we're all "connected" in ways we don't realize.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    BPnet Senior Member AbsoluteApril's Avatar
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    Lots of cities across the US are starting to do studies and pushing for "lights out" "dim the lights" and "dark sky" movements to help with the light pollution for birds and other animals.
    It's pretty interesting!

    International Dark Sky Association: https://www.darksky.org/
    groups doing studies in Utah and Colorado: https://nhmu.utah.edu/blog/lights-out
    ****
    For the Horde!

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Not to mention it just saves energy anyway. I call that a "win".
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-19-2021 at 05:01 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed [1000's of bi

    Fascinating read.

    There's a move to darken the night sky in the Uk too, but its a bit different.
    Our street old lamps shine up almost as much as down, creating a glow over towns and cities.
    So they are being replaced with ones that focus down only.

    As you say a win win, less energy wasted, less confusion for animals, and we should be able to see the stars better eventually.

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed [1000's of bi

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Fascinating read.

    There's a move to darken the night sky in the Uk too, but its a bit different.
    Our street old lamps shine up almost as much as down, creating a glow over towns and cities.
    So they are being replaced with ones that focus down only.

    As you say a win win, less energy wasted, less confusion for animals, and we should be able to see the stars better eventually.
    When I lived in the high desert, with far less "light pollution", seeing the night sky was a real plus. It's part of staying in touch with nature.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    BPnet Veteran Luvyna's Avatar
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    Really interesting article, thanks for sharing! Sad for all those poor birds It does seem counter-intuitive for us to turn off the lights to help them navigate better but I'm glad more research is being done on that and that big cities are starting initiatives to dim lights during migration periods. I would love to learn more about how exactly birds navigate and whether it's something they're just biologically programmed to do or if thought goes into it. It's incredible how far they fly and how they just know the way.

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    Re: Philadelphia has dimmed its skyline after a 'mass collision' killed [1000's of bi

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    When I lived in the high desert, with far less "light pollution", seeing the night sky was a real plus. It's part of staying in touch with nature.
    Agreed, for me I have to travel to see the night sky. There are very few places here in the uk and with our cloudy rainy weather, even those places are not ideal most days.
    So to fill my spirit, (before covid) I go to foreign countries for my holidays at least once a year, that have a desert environment and a low population.
    Also there's a good chance to see native reptiles and other different wild life
    Last edited by Ascended; 05-19-2021 at 06:11 PM.

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    I think this is something where we can all make a difference too- if our local night-time businesses & street lights are excessive or not aiming downward where they're needed, we need to speak up to our local officials- it's not that hard to fix, it saves energy ("money" to businesses) & sometimes it's just that no one has thought about it- it's never been brought up.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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