Lights Out, Texas!

Providing Safe Passage for Nocturnal Migrants

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Photo: Richard Gray / Audubon Photography Awards

Texas is globally important for birds. Approximately 1 of every 3 birds migrating through the U.S. in spring, and 1 of every 4 birds migrating through the U.S. in the fall, or nearly two billion birds, passes through Texas in one of the planet’s great wildlife spectacles.  

Majority of North American birds migrating travel at night! Unfortunately, light emanating from our cities can disorient birds, leaving them confused and vulnerable to urban threats like collisions with buildings. In fact, between one hundred million and one billion birds die every year in collisions with manmade structures - one of the biggest killers of migratory birds.

Lights Out, Texas! is a campaign of education, awareness, and action that focuses on protecting the billions of migratory birds traveling through Texas. 

Click here to learn more about the history of how Lights Out, Texas! started. 


Spring Migration: 

  • Full Migration: March 1 – June 15 

  • Peak Migration: April 22 – May 12 

Fall Migration 

  • Full Migration: August 15 – November 30 

  • Peak period: September 5 – October 29 

Get email alerts about migrations in your city. 


Building owners, businesses, developers and homeowners can help protect migrating birds by turning off all non-essential nighttime lighting on buildings and other structures from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night. 

A full suite of resources are available in the Lights Out, Texas! toolkit from social media posts to email templates to flyers:  

Lighting Guidelines For Everyone

  • 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.
  • Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light being emitted from windows.  

For essential lights (like 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.

Additional Guidelines for Buildings Taller Than Three Stories:

  • Extinguish or dim: Exterior and decorative lighting (i.e. spotlights, logos, clock faces, greenhouses and antenna lighting); lobby/atrium lighting; and lighting in perimeter rooms on all levels of the building.
  • Avoid: Floodlights; illuminating interior plants or fountains, and unoccupied floors; scheduling cleaning crews after dark; and blue-rich white light emissions (lighting with a color temperature of over 3000 Kelvin).
  • Use: Desk lamps or task lighting rather than overhead lights; blinking lighting in place of continuously burning lights; and warm light sources (less than 3000 Kelvin) for outdoor lighting.

What’s Good For Birds is Good For People

Birds are vitally important to the environment and benefit us in a variety of ways. Turning off non-essential lights or sheilding essential ones is also good for people! Artificial Lights At Night (ALAN) can negatively impact our health from sleep deprivation to depression to heart disease. By turning off lights, we protect birds, ourselves, save money and reduce carbon pollution! It’s a win-win. 

Reduce Collisions at Any Time - Bird Friendly Glass

Birds can’t see glass.  Instead, they see whatever happens to be reflected in its mirror-like surface as a continuation of habitat and clear glass as an open passageway, putting migratory and resident birds at risk of building collisions. It’s estimated that between one hundred million and one billion birds die every year in collisions with manmade structures—one of the biggest killers of migratory birds.  Bird-safe glass is specially designed to make glass a visible obstacle to birds. A variety of approaches, such as fritting, silk-screening, or ultraviolet coating, create a pattern that breaks up the reflectivity of the glass and alerts birds to its presence and placing them 2” x 4”. To learn more about bird friendly glass for homes and businesses – start here.

With your help, we can dramatically reduce the hazards posed by light pollution and bird collisions in cities nationwide and allow birds to resume their typical migratory behaviors.


Lights Out, Texas! is a true collaboration. Today, the program is facilitated by Audubon Texas in alliance with conservation nonprofits, Audubon chapters, universities, governmental organizations, and local communities. Our organization plays an essential role in Lights Out, Texas!


Click here to learn more about the history of Lights Out, Texas


Thanks to these partners who are leading on the ground efforts in their communities, Lights Out, Texas has an impact statewide. These efforts cannot be successful without them and volunteers! Audubon Texas is the statewide facilitator with conservation nonprofits, Audubon chapters, universities, governmental organizations, and local communities.

For a full list of partners, please click here.

Audubon Texas – statewide facilitator helping to maintain the toolkit and major statewide initiatives to not only reduce bird collisions, but implement building designs to prevent them

Dallas Zoo – A founding partner, the Zoo provides staff and volunteers to help maintain the many days of bird monitoring surveys as well as educate the public on the importance of bird conservation

Defenders of Wildlife – A statewide reach, Defenders of Wildlife Azalia Rodriguez has assisted the Dallas and currentlyassists Austin bird collision surveys while managing the @lightsouttexas instagram sharing messages across the state. Defenders new storymap helps detail the importance and impact of Lights Out.

Houston Audubon - The Lights Out Texas effort was originally launched in 2017 by Houston Audubon and American National Insurance Company following a major bird collision event involving 400 birds in Galveston. Since then, the effort has become a statewide initiative and Houston Audubon continues its local efforts as well as engaging in the larger Texas network. Over the years, Houston Audubon has recruited over 50 Houston area buildings to go Lights Out for birds, conducted bi-annual collision monitoring routes downtown, and shared all we can with our fellow chapters. Looking to the future, we hope to continually further these efforts and bring an even greater impact by linking it with our Bird-Friendly Communities programming.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science - A founding partner, Perot provides parking for all volunteers in Dallas who participate in the bird collision surveys. Their dedicated, Community Engagement Collections Manager Tim Brys connects with local buisnesses downtown to encourage them to turn off their lights. At the museum, you can find a display on Lights Out, Texas with specimen collected from the surveys.

Texas A&M University – Biodivesit Reacher and Reaching Collections - A founding partner, Dr. Gary Voelker and Curator, Heather Prestridge collect all of the specimens from the surveys – over 2,000 birds thus far! Working with students, they prepare each specimen to museum standards and provide vital samples to research projects all across the state including Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), Avian Bornavirus (ABV), West Nile Disease (WND), Microplastic content and more.

Texas Conservation Alliance - A founding partner, Texas Conservation Alliance (TCA) helped to kick start Lights Out in Dallas. Thanks to their efforts, the bird collision surveys are extensive and over the years TCA has expanded them to Fort Worth and College Station. Across the DFW Metroplex, TCA works to educate community members and leaders on the importance of bird conservation. More and more communities are getting involved thanks to their efforts in North Texas.

Travis Audubon - A key feature in the Austin community, Travis Audubon has taken on Lights Out as a cornerstone programming piece for their organization. Travis Audubon leads partners in the greater Austin area in strategic planning to amplify the messaging of Lights Out. To date, more than 300 yard signs have been distributed across the community, deep connections have been made with city council members, they have developed programming for youth and family and so much more.


Across the state, cities and counties have pledged to go Lights Out! Please join us in thanking Texas’ cities and counties for their efforts.

Hill Country/Austin area

  • City of Austin, Office of Sustainability
  • City of Buda
  • City of Dripping Springs
  • City of Fredericksburg
  • City of Kyle
  • City of San Marcos
  • City of Wimberly
  • City of Woodcreek
  • Hays County
  • Travis County

Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area

  • City of Cedar Hill
  • City of Dallas
  • City of Farmers Branch
  • City of Fort Worth
  • City of Frisco
  • Ellis County
  • Rockwall County

Houston/Gulf Coast area

  • City of Houston
  • City of College Station
  • City of Galveston
  • City of League City
  • City of San Antonio

West Texas area

  • City of El Paso

South Texas area

  • City of Brownsville
Lights Out symposium Group Photo: Audubon Texas
Partners displaying Lights Out Texas yard signs Photo: Audubon Texas
Image showing glass reflecting natural images - collision issue Photo: Christine Shepard
Lights Out Texas yard sign Photo: Travis Audubon
Fort Worth Volunteers Photo: Texas Conservation Alliance (TCA)
Bird Friendly Glass Photo: Luke Franke / National Audubon Society
Bird friendly glass Photo: Luke Franke / National Audubon Society

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