Lights Out Northeast Florida Mid-Season Update

Hooded Warbler LONF CBW PXL 20210923 113716819Our Lights Out Northeast Florida initiative in partnership with St. Johns County Audubon Society and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens continues this fall to highlight the dangers that bright lighting at night can pose to migrating birds. 37 incredibly dedicated volunteers are walking one of four routes in downtown Jacksonville every week to find birds that have been killed or injured by window strikes. So far, volunteers have walked the routes 118 times since we started in mid-September and have found 197 dead birds and 35 stunned birds. This is in sharp contrast to our data collection effort last spring, where routes were walked 129 times but only 70 dead birds and 29 stunned birds were found.

Clearly, fall migration is a more dangerous time for migrating birds than spring. We are not 100% sure why this is the case, but one theory is that in the fall, many migrating birds are juveniles that have just fledged within the last few months. Juvenile birds that have never migrated before lack the experience of adult birds and may be more drawn to bright lighting at night and thus more prone to collisions with windows. Volunteers also found evidence of birds that were victims of predation; the assumption is that they were stunned by a window strike, making them easy pickings for stray cats or other predators in the area. It’s tough to be a bird.

The fall data collection effort continues through mid-November and will start up again in mid-March 2022 for spring migration. We want to again express our deep appreciation for the dedication and consistency of our volunteers, without whom this work could not happen. Unfortunately, our Lights Out volunteer coordinator Carolyn Antman won’t be able to continue in that role next spring due to family obligations, so we are looking for a volunteer to take that on. Carolyn will be available to train her successor, so if you are interested, please get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

~ Carol Bailey-White, President