Lights Out Louisiana – It’s for the Birds, Literally
Through the marshes of southern and southwest Louisiana, you can find some of nature's most amazing treasures. Sure, the Louisiana cypress trees and Spanish moss are a sight to behold but if you've ever ventured south of Gueydan, Lake Arthur, Lake Charles, Abbeville, New Iberia, or eastward toward the Baritaria you'll see them.
The "them" is hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that fly over and into Louisiana each year. That's why so many hunters flock to Louisiana. Sure there are ducks and geese and other game birds to be pursued. But, the most spectacular sightings come from the other birds that we don't (publically) have a recipe for.
Since the dawn of their creation, these winged wonders have traversed a flight path that takes them from summer feeding and breeding grounds to the north to the warmer climates closer to the equator win the Autumnal Equinox occurs. But like most things in nature, there is an issue that is being caused by mankind.
And here in Louisiana, we can help take care of one of those issues by simply flipping a switch. The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is encouraging those of us who have bright outdoor lights to turn them off between now and November 15. Apparently, the lights of our cities and those installed on buildings and private property around the state can disorient the birds.
How Many Birds Migrate Through Louisiana Every Year?
According to the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, that number was about 478 million. And that's the number of birds estimated to have flown in or through the state of Louisiana. But sadly, about one million of those birds nationwide are killed because of the effects of light pollution.
The bright lights disorient the birds and sometimes they fly directly into buildings and windows. Now, this doesn't just happen at night but for the most part, the major carnage happens during the nighttime hours. And all we have to do is turn out our lights at night, or at least dim them considerably.
Managers of large buildings should certainly dim or douse the lights totally at night. Or, at least ask tenants to close their blinds or shades so the inside light doesn't shine as brightly outdoors. It's a simple thing that we can all do and finally the phrase "for the birds" means something good.
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