Dark Skies and Birds – Writers Needed

Photo:  Luke Franke
Fairfax County Park Authority is expanding its education on the importance of dark skies. Light pollution has negative effects on wildlife, plants, people, energy consumption, and human health. They are looking to celebrate international dark sky awareness week Home – International Dark Sky Week with some educational blogs and events.
Are there any Bird lovers out there who would be willing to write a blog (300-500 words) for the park authority about the effect of light pollution on birds?
This is a good year to do this as National Audubon Society is partnering on this effort as well as being the theme for this years world migratory bird day.
Notify Tammy Schwab at tammy.schwab@fairfaxcounty.gov  if you are interested.
World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is focusing on the impacts of light pollution on migratory birds. Artificial light is increasing globally by at least two percent a year, presenting a problem for birds. Here are four simple actions everyone can take to help birds at night.
1. Reduce the amount of light outside your home or place of business. Turn off all non-essential nighttime lights. For essential lights, such as security lighting, use timers or motion detectors to keep usage to a minimum. And always use the minimum wattage necessary for the task at hand.
2. Change the color of your lights from cool to warm. Studies suggest that green and blue light attracts more nocturnally migrating birds than red, orange, or yellow light. Use light bulbs that emit warm lighting to minimize disturbance to birds.
3. Direct all lighting downward. Place lights to illuminate the floor or ground and use lighting shields to prevent shining into the sky.
4. Share the message to “dim the lights for birds at night.” Throughout the year we will highlight the steps that individuals and communities can take to reduce the impacts of light pollution on our shared birds. Share these messages through social media and other outlets to increase awareness of this important issue.
For more information on light pollution and how to fight this totally reversible type of pollution visit the international International Dark Sky Association – International Dark-Sky Association and for a local perspective learn more about Fairfax county’s outdoor lighting standards here Outdoor Lighting Standards | Planning Development (fairfaxcounty.gov)

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