Group works to protect birds from flying into uptown buildings

Group works to protect birds from flying into uptown buildings

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 6:21 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 2 at 6:40 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mecklenburg Audubon members say the lights in uptown buildings are confusing migratory birds. 

Dozens of birds are crashing into these buildings or becoming so tired they fall.  The group says there's a simple solution to saving the birds.  The group is asking building owners and managers to dim the lights during migration season.  That's about a week in the spring and from August 15th to November 15th each fall.  For more than a month, several audubon members patrol the streets each morning looking for dead or injured birds. 

They take pictures of the birds and document where and when they find the birds. They say, so far, they've found more than 50 birds since the start of their patrol.

"The ones that migrate by night, navigate by the moon and stars and they come by the city on their route.  The light confuses them and they get into circling buildings and at the point, they either strike a building and fall or they get so exhausted that they fall," said Jill Palmer, President of Mecklenburg Audobon Society.

The group hasn't talked to city officials or building owners yet.  Right now they're busy documenting their patrols, taking pictures and recording where and when they find each bird. 

They're hoping Charlotte will want to take part in a "Lights Out" program.  Similar programs in other cities like New York and Winston Salem have saved thousands of birds each year.

The Audubon Society is also asking area residents to help out. 

"Help educate others.  They can talk to their friends and family and co-workers and encourage them to turn off the lights in the buildings," said Palmer.
 

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