Mayor Johnson Declares ‘Lights Out’ for Bird Migration

birds flying in the shape of v above the bridge between the Wrigley Building at the financial district, Chiacago, IL, USA. bottom view
Image of birds migrating over a city. | Image by FTiare

Mayor Eric Johnson has issued a proclamation declaring 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Sept. 27 and Oct. 17 as “Lights Out Nights” in Dallas. The decision comes as the City of Dallas seeks to play its part in protecting birds migrating south through north Texas.

Dallas residents and businesses have been urged to turn off non-essential lighting between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. This request applies between Sept. 27 and Oct. 17, during which millions of birds migrate through Texas. According to a city spokesperson, the migrating birds are disoriented by lights at night, making them more likely to collide with buildings.

“The Lights Out Texas initiative is a win-win for Dallas. It can help our residents and businesses save on energy costs and also helps protect our ecosystem,” Mayor Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson’s proclamation comes as he seeks to raise awareness for the Lights Out Texas initiative, led by former First Lady Laura Bush. Johnson, in his statement, recognized the efforts of Bush.

“I want to thank former First Lady Laura Bush for her strong advocacy for this critically important initiative, and I am proud to stand with her as we encourage the people of our great city to turn off their non-essential interior and exterior lights over the next few weeks,” Johnson added. “By taking this small step together, we can make a major difference for our environment.”

In a statement, former First Lady Laura Bush thanked Johnson for setting a fine example through the “Lights Out Nights” proclamation. She added that Texans can ensure safe passage for the migrating birds “with the simple act of turning off non-essential lights at night.”

“I invite all Texans to join us as we darken the skies for the great fall migration,” Bush said. “And lookup. You might see something spectacular.”

Other cities in Texas are also set to participate in the Lights Out Texas initiative. Businesses in downtown Fort Worth will be taking part in Lights Out from Sept. 5 to Oct. 29.

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