Dim The Light for Birds at Night!
Believe it or not, light has the potential to alter the migration patterns and routes of birds, as well as foraging their altitude and vocal communication. Migrating birds become disoriented when exposed to artificial light at night, especially when there is low cloud, fog, rain, or when flying at lower altitudes, and may end up circling in illuminated locations. They are also at risk of depletion, predation, and fatal accidents due to depleted energy reserves. To gather attention to the increasing problem of light pollution and how it is threatening the lives of birds across the globe, the theme for this year’s World Migratory Birds Day is ‘Dim the Lights for Birds at Night’. World Migratory Bird Day is an international day that focuses on migratory bird conservation and habitat preservation and is commemorated twice a year once in May and then again in October. The day was first marked in 2006 when the United Nations decided to raise awareness on migratory birds and their connections across continents. Since then, a total of 118 countries have observed World Migratory Bird Day. Amy Fraenkel, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, (CMS) says “Natural darkness has a conservation value in the same way as clean water, air, and soil. A key goal of World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is to raise awareness of light pollution and its negative impacts on migratory birds. Solutions are readily available, and we hope to encourage key decision-makers to adopt measures to address light pollution.”