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PETITION TARGET: New York City Council

Hundreds of dead and dying songbirds littered the streets of New York City after colliding into buildings on two fatal days in October 2020 — with most of the more than 220 injured birds identified as protected migratory species. 

Disoriented, confused, and vulnerable to the city’s bright lights at night, an estimated 240,000 beautiful birds — from wood thrush to golden-winged warblers — die tragically and needlessly each year.

Scooping up crumpled birds in take-out boxes and sweatshirts and seeking critical care for them at Wild Bird Fund, the city’s only wild bird rehabilitation center, has sadly become the norm for New Yorkers, said several groups campaigning to change the city’s lighting protocols.

Three bills, introduced this legislative session, could save countless birds’ lives by requiring city-owned buildings and spaces to turn off non-essential lighting between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the city’s peak avian migratory periods. The “Lights Out NYC” legislation allows for security lighting and lighting in buildings where people work at night. 

The campaign — currently backed by more than a dozen bird and animal protection organizations, and spearheaded by Wild Bird Fund, NYC Audubon Society, and the Village Independent Democrats — notes that in addition to saving innocent lives, the legislation also would save electricity and reduce negative disruptions on people’s sleep.

NYC residents and legislators already have shown they deeply care for birds — including by turning off the twin beams of  light in tribute to 9/11 victims each year during peak migratory times and implementing a similar “Lights Out NYC” initiative in 2015.

It’s time to build on that bird-loving history by passing this critical legislation.

Sign our petition urging the New York City Council to pass the proposed “Lights Out NYC” legislation to save thousands of innocent birds from deadly collisions with buildings at night during peak migration periods. 

Dead sparrow