Lights Out London: One simple step to help thousands of migrating birds

It couldn’t get much easier to assist tens-of-thousands of migrating birds that are passing through our region this spring — turn off your unnecessary lights.

For the first time ever, Bird Friendly London will be launching ‘Lights Out London’ from May 13 to 19 to protect migrating birds.

“When you have a lot of sky glow from artificial light at night, birds are unable to see the stars in the sky and become disoriented,” explains Brendon Samuels with Bird Friendly London.

During the peak of migration season businesses and households are being encouraged to turn off decorative exterior lighting, as well as indoor lighting after hours in offices and high rises.

Only lights intended for safety or accessibility purposes should remain on.

City hall, RBC Place Convention Centre, and Canada Life were among the first to commit to Lights Out London.

“In May we are going to experience peak migratory activity, we’ll see warblers and sparrows passing through, but light pollution also impacts birds that are here year round,” Samuels adds.

Excessive light can cause disrupt migration, lead to window strikes, and interfere with the lifecycle of insects that serve as food.

Participants can register and access information at

Samuels says if Lights Out London is successful, the event could return for the fall migration.

“It’s a complicated issue, but there’s a simple solution— we just need to turn the lights off.”

Light pollution in London, Ont. (Courtesy: Bird Friendly London)

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