World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is focusing on the impacts of light pollution on our shared birds. Artificial light is increasing globally by at least two percent a year, presenting a problem for birds. Here are a few simple actions everyone can take to help birds a night.
1. Reduce the amount of light outside your home or place of business. Turn off all non-essential nighttime lights. For essential lights, use timers or motion detectors to keep usage to a minimum. And always use the minimum wattage necessary for the task at hand. (This helps save energy and money too!)
2. Change the color of your lights from cool to warm. Studies suggest that green and blue light attracts more birds than red, orange, or yellow light. Use light bulbs that emit warm lighting to minimize disturbance to birds. (Light color is measured in kelvins—the lower the number, the warmer the light.)
3. Direct all lighting downward. Place lights to illuminate the floor or ground and use lighting shields to prevent shining into the sky.
4. Advocate for bird-friendly lighting in your town. Consider working with your local government to create a lighting ordinance in your community or to enforce or improve existing guidelines.
5. Become a community scientist. Measure your night sky brightness and submit your observations to the Globe at Night program at globeatnight.org.