Bird perched on tree limb

Raleigh Joins Lights Out for Bird Migration

March 15 – May 31, 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Each spring and fall, millions of migrating birds travel through the State of North Carolina, mostly under the cover of darkness. To help assure their safe passage, the City of Raleigh is joining efforts to protect migrating birds by going Lights Out.

Effective March 15 through May 31 , all non-essential lighting in City facilities will be turned off between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Bright lights can attract and disorient nocturnally migrating birds, leading to potential collisions with buildings. Migratory bird populations are in serious decline, and such collisions are significant contributors to these losses. Turning off lights is a simple way to make a positive impact!  

Decreasing the amount of light City buildings emit will also save costs by reducing energy consumption, supporting the City’s sustainability goals and supporting Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan.

All are encouraged to join the Lights Out initiative to help protect migrating birds by turning off non-essential nighttime lighting through the month of May. Audubon North Carolina provides these recommendations to help make the skies a little darker during migration seasons: 

  • Turn off the lights outside of your home, especially upward-facing lights.
  • Close blinds and curtains at home and before leaving your office for the day. 
  • If you work in an office building, ask your employer to turn out exterior upward-facing lights, as well as interior office lights from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Raleigh participates in Lights Out for Bird Migration twice yearly, in the spring and fall. Wake Audubon is planning additional "Lights Out Wake" activities in partnership with this important effort. Details will be available on Wake Audubon's website.

For more information on Lights Out initiatives, bird migration forecasts, and the latest research developments, please visit the BirdCast website. For nocturnal bird migration alerts in Raleigh, please see visit the BirdCast Migration Alerts page for the city that provides a three-day forecast for bird migration.

Building a greener future, a Sustainable Raleigh, is a key focus area in the City's Strategic Plan



Brian Smith

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories: