Lights Out Baltimore Saves Countless Migratory Birds

Lights Out Baltimore, or LOB, is an organization with a clear mission — make Charm City safe for migratory birds.

Glass is an invisible threat to birds. Between 300 million to 1 billion birds fall victim to window strikes each year — windows confuse them. Because windows are transparent, reflective and because most do not have visual markers to ward off birds, birds fly into them.

Birds play a major role in plant pollination, seed dispersal, pest control, and eco-tourism. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), over $40 billion is spent each year on birding activities, and 666,000 bird-related jobs have been created.

Turning the lights out in buildings downtown can mean life or death for migratory birds passing through Charm City.

Birds fly their migration routes, mostly at night, and are therefore attracted to the bright decorative lights of cities. LOB works with the USFWS, business leaders, policy makers, and citizens to encourage businesses in Baltimore to turn out the lights. Turning the lights out in buildings downtown can mean life or death for migratory birds passing through Charm City.

Image Credit: Orietta Estrada
Ruby-throated hummingbird. Image Credit: Orietta Estrada

Since 2008, LOB has recovered over 2,500 dead birds and has participated in the rescue of over 500. LOB has saved countless birds. By turning out decorative lights during peak migration times, businesses in Charm City can participate in bird conservation efforts.

Businesses can also make the first 30 – 40 ft. of their building bird-friendly by installing special glass panels such as Ornilux, or applying certain window treatments like Collidescape.

How to make a difference at home

Image Credit: Orietta Estrada
Chipping sparrow. Image Credit: Orietta Estrada
  • Bringing your bird feeders closer to your home can give birds a destination point and decrease the amount of window strikes.
  • Moving indoor plants away from windows.
  • Window decals.
  • Decorate your windows.

I own and have used following products to discourage window strikes at my home. Check out the Amazon links below (by clicking the product links and purchasing these items via these links, Animal Perspectives receives revenue which helps keep the website going):

Window Alert

These are low-key window decals and come in a variety of shapes and options. These decals are placed on the outside of the window and work by reflecting ultraviolet rays, thus making windows visible to birds.



Link to Amazon product:


Link to Amazon product:



Link to Amazon product:



Link to Amazon product:

Window Painting

These are great products if you have kids and is a wonderful way to involve children in wild bird conservation at home. You can create seasonal scenes and even play games like tic-tac-toe on your windows. The clean up is easy, a little window cleaner is all it takes.



Link to Amazon product:

Crayola Window Markers


Link to Amazon product:

Check out my Pinterest Boards for more bird-friendly window painting and decorating ideas!

For more information on how you can make a difference visit:

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