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Old March 10th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Toronto Urged to Dim Building Lights to Save the Birds

Birds dying in skyscraper collisions causes a flap in Toronto



OTTAWA, March 9, 2006 (AFP) - Animal rights groups pleaded Thursday with Toronto office and apartment building owners to dim their lights at night to reduce the staggering number of bird deaths due to collisions with lit skyscrapers.

To make their point, Toronto Wildlife Centre and the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) set up a gruesome display at the Royal Ontario Museum this week of some 2,000 birds lured to their deaths by the bright lights of Canada's largest city.

The 89 species scraped off downtown Toronto sidewalks during the 2005 migratory season included blue jays, sparrows, woodpeckers, pigeons, hummingbirds and chickadees.

"There are so many advantages to turning off the lights, not just for the birds. People would save millions of dollars in energy costs, lower pollution emissions, and maybe enjoy a starry night," said FLAP executive director Michael Mesure.

Thousands of birds die in collisions each year in Toronto, he estimates. Others pegged the number of deaths in North America at 97 million.

Some fly headlong into windows, crushing their skulls. Others circle until they drop from exhaustion or crash into other birds drawn to the same lights.

Toronto is considering a novel law to force tower developers to reduce dangers to fowl.

"Most people probably haven't thought about this problem because janitors have swept away all the dead birds by the time they get to work in the morning, but it's a growing concern," said councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker who introduced the motion.

The new guidelines expected in mid-2006 would encourage the use of bird-friendly glass, restrict outdoor "vanity" lighting and require more light switches, he said.

In many older buildings, a single switch controls all the lights, making it impossible to dim individual offices or floors if someone is working late.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #2
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bird flu will solve that
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #3
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LOL thats all we need
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:24 AM   #4
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Same thing happens with NYC and Chicago.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #5
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it's not the bloody birds that are attacted to the light, it's the insects attracted by the lights and the birds are just attracted for a feed.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 02:17 PM   #6
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Mayor asks Toronto to put lights out at night: To save migrating birds
Michael Peeling
National Post
12 April 2006

City hall yesterday announced a lights-out-at-night campaign to help prevent migrating birds from crashing into high-rise buildings.

Businesses and residents are asked to turn off unnecessary lights, especially in tall buildings that fall in the migration paths of birds in the spring and autumn.

It will help spare the hundreds of birds killed annually when they fly into towers, and also conserve energy.

"Although we live in Canada's largest urban centre, Torontonians care enormously about nature and the wildlife of our city," said Mayor David Miller, pointing out many bird-lovers come to the city to watch birds migrate.

Natalie Karvonen, executive director of Toronto Wildlife Centre, said it took in roughly 1,000 birds last year, but few survived. She recalled one day when 180 injured birds came to the centre.

"These little migrants are very hard to treat," Ms. Karvonen said. "You can't put an IV drip into a four-ounce bird."

Injured birds have been brought there since 1993 by volunteers with the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP).

"People used to see us out there with our nets and think we were crazy," said executive director Michael Mesure. "Now people come up and hand us injured birds."

City buildings already have a lights-out policy after 6 p.m. The Mayor says that at Metro Hall alone 4 million kilowatts of energy have been saved per year, which has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 2,400 tons and saved the city $200,000 per year.

"It's good for the birds, it's good for the environment and it's cheaper," Mr. Miller said.

Joyce McLean, director of strategic issues at Toronto Hydro, noted the Edison Centre at Yonge and Eglinton has gone from consuming 4.2 million kilowatts in 1995 to 2.2 million this past year, which translates to a savings of $187,000 per year.

"You may be aware that we have a bit of an electricity [shortage] issue in the province of Ontario," Ms. McLean said. "We have been very active in promoting many different kinds of conservation programs. Turning your lights off after 11 [p.m.] is just another example of how you can save money, save electricity, and save birds, so we're very keen on this program."

Toronto is developing bird-friendly guidelines that would include a ban on building lights that shine up into the sky. Mr. Miller said Toronto is the first North American city to develop such guidelines.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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It will fall on deaf ears...
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Old November 24th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #8
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I think if dimming the lights at night will take place, it will be due to cost and energy conservation, not saving the birds.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 04:41 AM   #9
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Skyscraper `Lights Out' is for the birds, in a good way
A proposal to reduce late-night glare from tall buildings during migrations could save millions of birds a year, experts say.
14 February 2007
Star-Tribune
http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1000712.html

It's a mystery of migration. Each year, thousands of ruby-throated hummingbirds, colorful warblers and other neo-tropical birds navigate safely across the countryside, only to be lured to their deaths by the bright lights of the cities.

Scientists say urban lighting can throw migrating birds seriously off-course. And on overcast or rainy nights, lighted skyscrapers can confuse the nocturnal travelers, causing them to circle in the glow until they die of fatigue.

In the Twin Cities, a group of avian advocates plans to ask high-rise building owners to turn off unnecessary interior and exterior lights from midnight until dawn during spring and fall migrations. Their goal? To ensure a safer passage for millions of birds along the Mississippi Flyway.

"It's hard to know how many birds we can save," said Mark Martell, director of bird conservation for Audubon Minnesota.

"The Mississippi flyway is a huge flyway, so the potential could be high, but we don't know that. But in a way it doesn't matter. Turning out these lights will not only save birds, it will save energy," Martell said.

The "Lights Out - Twin Cities" program is based on similar campaigns in Toronto, New York, Chicago and Detroit. In Minnesota it's being promoted by experts from Audubon, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota.

The group, working with building owners, hopes to have the program in place by mid-March, just as the first robins, ruby-crowned kinglets and other colorful migrants begin to arrive.

"We're open to the idea," said Kent Warden, executive director of the Greater Minneapolis Building Owners & Managers Association. "But we're waiting to hear more. Surely the success in other cities does give it credibility."

Glass also is a problem

Birds are more likely to crash into reflective glass on a building of any size during daylight hours than at night, said Daniel Klem Jr., a biology professor and ornithologist at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Penn. But Klem, who has studied bird-glass collisions for more than 35 years, said lights-out programs help mitigate that by not attracting birds to the dangerous urban environment in the first place.

"Anywhere from 100 million to a billion die each year during the daytime strikes," Klem said. "It's lights that can bring them into the danger zones."

Actual numbers of birds killed are hard to determine, said Michael Mesure, executive director of Toronto's Fatal Light Awareness Program, or FLAP. Last year, a small number of volunteers in the 14-year-old program collected 5,500 dead or injured birds from Toronto's downtown area.

"Wherever you have glass, you're pretty well guaranteed you're going to kill birds," he said. "If you take a conservative estimate that one to 10 birds will die each year on any human-built structure, that's up to 10 million birds in the Toronto area alone. But Toronto is a little dot on the horizon of North America. If you take all the human-built structures, the numbers are mind-boggling."

Scavengers also take a toll on exhausted birds that land and are too weak to resume flying, Mesure said.

"They're cleaned up very quickly by gulls, crows, raccoons, squirrels or other birds," he said. "Scavengers in any urban area have learned about this alternative food source."

Since 1993, when FLAP helped Toronto become the first city to embrace a "Lights-Out" program, urban areas across the continent have begun their own programs. Economic benefits help convince skeptics: Last year, Toronto officials saved more than $200,000 by turning off lights at the city's municipal building, one of more than 100 buildings that voluntarily participate. The city recently implemented a migratory-bird protection policy that regulates light from existing buildings and develops guidelines for bird-friendly design in new construction.

Humble beginnings


Minnesota's program began when Joanna Eckles, a former bird trainer at the Minnesota Zoo who now works for the World Parrot Trust, decided to research the problem. For several days during last fall's migration, she checked the bases of downtown buildings for injured and dead birds. She found more than 300.

"It wasn't scientific research," she said. "I have another job and young kids at home, so I just did what I could."

Alarmed, Eckles met with Audubon's Martell in October, and by November, other agencies had joined the cause. Groups in Bloomington, Duluth and St. Cloud have expressed interest in bringing programs to their cities, Eckles said.

Human safety concerns aren't dismissed - Eckles said street-level and aviation lights would not be affected, for example.

Building owners would be asked to turn off their lights from midnight until dawn, March 15 through May 31, and then Aug. 15 through Oct. 31, the peak migratory periods for birds in the Twin Cities.

"The great thing about Lights Out is that there are so many additional benefits," Eckles said. "Energy savings, and a reduction of CO2 emissions. But our primary focus is saving birds, because that's what we love."

LIGHTS OUT PROGRAM

For more information about Toronto's program, go to

www.flap.org

City lights, fatal flights

There are about 200 species of birds that migrate between Canada and the United States and warmer climates every year. Night-flying migrating birds, especially songbirds such as warblers, thrushes and vireos are known to become fatally attracted to artificial light.

THE PROBLEM


- Birds are attracted to lighted windows and light beams and are reluctant to leave them. The birds often flap within a beam or around lighted buildings until they land on or fall to the ground exhausted.

- Those that remain in the urban environment can have trouble foraging enough food to regain their strength or become confused by reflective surfaces and crash into them.

- Some exhausted birds are taken by predators.

WHY SONGBIRDS?

- They fly at low enough altitudes to encounter tall buildings.

- They cannot see well at night, especially in bad weather. Why migrate at night? They take advantage of calmer winds, cooler temperaturess and foraging time during the day.

LIGHTED OBSTACLES:

- Tall buildings.

- Communication towers.

- Lighthouses.

- Bright, upward-pointing light beams such as those at airports.

Experts suggest that non-essential exterior and interior lights in tall buildings be turned off between 11 p.m. and dawn during migratory periods.

MAJOR CITIES IN THE MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY

Migratory flyways

- Metropolitan areas with an east-west distance greater than 15 miles, population greater than 1,000,000

Twin Cities
Kansas City
St. Louis
Milwaukee
Chicago
Indianapolis
Columbus
Detroit
Cleeland
Toronto, Canada

- Metropolitan areas with an east-west distance greater than 15 miles, population 100,000 to 1,000,000

St. Cloud
Rochester, Mn.
Memphis
Baton Rouge
New Orleans
Birmingham
Nashville
Louisville
Cincinnati
Toledo

Sources: Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center; Fatal Light Awareness Program; World Wildlife Fund
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:39 AM   #10
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Good job. It will also help with light pollution. It's not that bad to be able to actually see stars at night.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #11
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Hahahahah yes save the birds please do but ah forget about low flying planes who cares?
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Old February 27th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #12
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Hire some Falconers to scare the birds away.. I heard once that's what they do sometimes at airports to keep them gull-free.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:52 PM   #13
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It would probably save energy costs too.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:51 PM   #14
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but just imagine downtown Toronto being pitch black during night. It won't be really nice.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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But if you off the lights, the birds cant see the buildings at night, and crash anyway.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 05:41 PM   #16
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save the turtles :P if any one listened to rush bimbob in late jan... you would know wtf i am quoteing


for though who have no clue: he was going on about turltes and how he can't have his lights turned on from march to sept at night but construction along the sea wall is going on now cause of the turtles and they are going till the end of april... he was piss off about that lol
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Old March 1st, 2007, 05:54 PM   #17
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It's dimming lights, not turning them all off. Or you can stagger the lights that are on.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UD2 View Post
but just imagine downtown Toronto being pitch black during night. It won't be really nice.
Looks fine to me, what do you think?

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Old October 19th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #19
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After bird strikes, NYC building dims its reflective panels
22 September 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - Manhattan's towering buildings have long posed a deadly flight hazard to migrating birds. Every year, an untold number of winged travelers get disoriented by the bright lights and reflective glass, and smack into the side of a skyscraper.

But the caretakers of one of the worst bird traps, a big U.S. Postal Service complex, has made changes they hope will limit the damage.

Officials spent $201,000 this year to take some of the gleam out of 440 reflective glass panels on one side of the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, which sits a few blocks from the Hudson River.

The panels were apparently reflecting nearby trees, making approaching birds think they were flying in to a safe place to nest.

Last year, the Audubon Society recorded 338 fatal bird strikes at the building in just a few weeks. One volunteer, Ann Galloway, told The New York Times she watched 44 birds crash into the building during one half-hour period on Nov. 4.

"They were literally dropping," she said. "It was awful."

This summer, the panels were covered over with a black vinyl film. The solution appears to be working so far, Audubon officials said. No deaths have been recorded yet, although the migration season is still young.

The owners of much taller landmarks, including the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center, dim their lights at midnight during the peak of the seasonal overflights to keep them from confusing the birds.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCanuck View Post
Looks fine to me, what do you think?

Doesnt look too bad.
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