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Feathered Friends On Their Way Back Home

Spring 2023 Migration Begins Tomorrow, take the pledge to go Lights Out, Texas!

TEXAS (February 28, 2023)— Audubon Texas, in collaboration with conservation non-profits, universities, governmental organizations, and local communities, announces March 1 as the first day of the Spring 2023 bird migration season. Our feathered friends will continue traveling northward through June 15, with peak migration occurring April 22 - May 12. To help birds get home safely, take the pledge to go Lights Out, Texas!

Light pollution emanating from our cities disorients birds, leaving them confused and vulnerable to collisions with buildings. Texas sits within the middle of the Central Flyway, the migratory “highway”, where 1 out of every 3 migrating birds will travel. Across the U.S., nearly one billion birds are estimated to die annually due to collisions with buildings.

Fall 2022 migration efforts garnered 401 total Lights Out pledges (48% residential and 52% commercial). Across Texas, 112 volunteers contributed over 1,000 volunteer hours collecting surveys, engaging with communities, and educating the public about bird safety. Additionally, many major cities issued a Lights Out, Texas proclamation for the season. View the full Fall 2022 Lights Out, Texas report.

“Our organization is encouraged by the groundswell of businesses and individuals that have committed to Lights Out for Wildlife in DFW,” said John DeFillipo, Executive Director of Texas Conservation Alliance.  “We are excited to expand our efforts this spring to further reduce light pollution dangers for nocturnally migrating birds.”

Volunteers who offer their time for bird monitoring surveys provide valuable data and transport specimens to the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) at Texas A&M University. Since 2019, over 2,000 specimens have been sent to BRTC to prepare for museum standards and further research. Over 2,000 observations have made on iNaturalist Lights Out, Texas Monitoring page.

“This is a complex effort, and the coordinators of these volunteers deserve much recognition," said Heather Prestridge, Curator at Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) at Texas A&M University. "Volunteers record specimens found on survey routes in the major metropolitan areas of Texas to ground-truth if the Lights Out campaign is having an effect on the number of migratory birds being impacted. The specimens from the surveys are delivered to the BRTC where they are prepared to museum standards and accessioned into the collections to serve as a permanent record. They are also being made available to the research community at large. We are utilizing the specimens to learn more about avian flu, avian bornavirus, vectors of disease, and to train the next generation of museum professionals."

Individuals as well as businesses are encouraged to turn off as many exterior lights as possible during the hours of 11 pm - 6 am, especially during the peak migration period from April 22 - May 12. The shielding of interior lighting during these times will also support birds and their safe travels. Learn more about best practices and find community outreach materials by visiting the Lights Out, Texas website. Peak migration forecasts through BirdCast migration tools are provided in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Despite migration being a seasonal event, Lights Out Texas is a continuous, year-round effort encouraging everyone to support bird conservation for the benefit of our local communities.

Lights Out Guidelines everyone can use:

  • Turn off all non-essential lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night during migration season. 
  • Do not use landscape lighting to light up trees or gardens where birds may be resting. 
  • For essential lights (such as security lighting) use the following dark skies-friendly lighting practices: 
    • Aim lights down 
    • Use lighting shields to direct light downwards and to avoid light shining into the sky or trees 
    • Use motion detectors and sensors so lights are only on when you need them 
    • Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light being emitted from windows 
    • Share your success on social media and with the press, your commitment to go lights out to save birds is newsworthy. 

About Audubon Texas 

Audubon Texas is the state office of the National Audubon Society. The National Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon Texas's state programs, three nature centers in San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth, a South Texas sanctuary, and a network of 21 local chapters and numerous partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Audubon's vision is a world in which people and wildlife thrive. For more information and to find your local chapter visit You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Cornell Lab of Ornithology 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.

About Texas Conservation Alliance

Texas Conservation Alliance (TCA) has successfully advocated for wildlife and wild places in Texas for over 50 years. TCA engages with local communities to protect the rivers and forests of East Texas and the prairies of West Texas. TCA has helped to protect 200,000 Texas acres in parks and wildlife refuges, stop unnecessary reservoirs that drown Texas rivers have been, fought clear-cutting in national forests, and recruited thousands of people to conserve Texas' beautiful outdoor world. Texas Conservation Alliance works to educate Texans and build alliances to enhance and sustain wildlife habitat and protect our land, air and water for future generations. For more information, you can visit our site

About the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections at Texas A&M

The Texas A&M Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) is curated by staff and faculty of the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology and is one of several important natural history collections within the Texas A&M system. The collections at the BRTC serve to document biodiversity over space and time. The Collection of Birds at the BRTC currently contains over 30,000 specimens from across the globe and is utilized by researchers in many fields including biogeography, disease ecology, speciation, and more. Our role in terms of the Lights Out, Texas effort is to serve as the repository for specimens found along survey routes. The Lights Out materials have fostered important relationships with researchers from the Schubot Center for Avian Health (TAMU Vet School), the University of Texas – San Antonio, and the Harris County Health Department. By preparing and registering these specimens at the collections, they can be utilized by others now and in the future. To support the students that help to prepare and curate these important specimens click here.

Media Contacts 

Dallas Kelley, Audubon Texas 


Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Heather Prestridge, BRTC


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