New York is stepping up and shutting off to protect migratory birds from light pollution. On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all non-essential outdoor lights at state buildings will be shut off from 11PM local time until dawn. This order will be in effect during the peaks of seasonal migration, from April 15 through May 31 and August 15 through November 15. Why turn off the lights? Migrating birds often use the light of the stars to guide them on their epic journey. However, outdoor lighting can disorient birds and cause them to crash, particularly during inclement weather. Between 500 million and one billion birds die annually in the United States due to this “fatal light attraction.” After Minnesota, New York becomes the second state to join National Audubon Society’s Lights Out Campaign. Cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Washington DC also partner with Lights Out to keep birds safe along the East Coast.

Via the Guardian

Image via Lake Region Audubon Society