Lights Out Texas, peak spring bird migration is here!

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Apr 19, 2021

The spring window for peak bird migration in Texas has arrived, so it’s time to get outside and experience this amazing avian spectacle! And, even more importantly, it’s time to act – to do one simple (very simple!) thing to protect our great bird migrations: turn off non-essential lights between 11pm and 6am every night!

Lights Out Texas!

Unfortunately, light pollution is a major factor in collisions that kill upwards of a billion migratory birds in there US annually. Whether you are a business or homeowner, please help protect migrating birds passing through Texas by turning off all non-essential nighttime lighting on buildings from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night generally during spring migration from March 1 – June 15, with an emphasis on the April 19 – May 7 peak of migration.

Learn more about Lights Out and make the pledge to take action. Are you looking for additional information? Please visit our frequently asked questions page.


As those of you reading this may recall, anyone in the continental US can use our Lights Out Migration Alert tool to access a 3-day migration forecast for their area. Additionally, BirdCast has updated its Lights Out Migration Alerts subscription option to include all currently certified Texas Bird Cities as of Spring 2021 (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Bastrop, Fort Worth, Galveston, Port Aransas, Surfside Beach). If you live in a Texas Bird City, you can sign up for email alerts of high migration in your area sent directly to your inbox by clicking the “subscribe to alerts” button on our Migration Alerts page.

The City of Chicago has been dimming downtown lights for the full spring and fall migration seasons for more than two decades. Now, Texas cities are partnering with our Lights Out Texas campaign to step up to this “challenge”: the cities of Dripping Springs, Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Galveston, and Cedar Hill are all asking local residents and businesses, especially in downtown areas, to dim or turn off their non-essential lights from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. This effort has been contagious, with the push to darken our skies to save birds (and energy) resonating clearly in this globally critical migration corridor. Let’s keep up the momentum!

Conservation Media at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has produced a wonderful animated short this spring that helps to illustrate the threat of light pollution as it follows a songbird encountering city lights on its migratory journey. Please share this widely with friends, businesses, municipalities and media!

And here is the star of this animated show in its natural habitat during migration in Texas, the Blackburnian Warbler!

The solution to protecting Blackburnian Warblers and an enormous diversity of other wonderful migratory birds from the hazards of light pollution and increased collisions is simple, and each light turned out makes a difference. With your help, we can mitigate some of the many dangers birds face on their long journeys across the US each year.

So, spread the word and make your pledge to go Lights Out, April 19 – May 7. Each light turned out makes a difference!