The Golden Gate Audubon Society is partnering with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the San Francisco Department of the Environment announce the fall Lights Out for Birds. The program enables building owners, managers and tenants to save energy and money while protecting migratory birds. Lights Out for Birds participants turn off unnecessary building lights during the bird migration (February through May and August though November each year). Ornithologists studying bird collisions at a single building in Chicago documented an 80 percent decrease in avian mortality after implementing the Lights Out program. However, another goal of the initiative is to reduce energy usage. Such cost savings will be apparent in lower electrical bills. (photo by William van Bergen)
San Francisco was one of the first cities to implement a Lights Out program in 2008. Now over 21 cities in the US and Canada have a Lights Out program. Conservationists hope that the program extends to every major city in North America, to save birds, energy and money.