I found out about Lights Out! Connecticut at the Litchfield Community Center on Bantam Road, they put up an informational flyer in the lobby informing everyone about how we could all help the world's bird population by doing one simple thing - Turn off unnecessary lights overnight. That was two years ago, but it's time to do it again.

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According to Birdcast, and Lights Out! Connecticut, we have peak Fall migration over our heads this week. On Wednesday, Sept 20, 2023, it was estimated that 217 million birds were migrating over the US. Last night, Thursday, Sept 21, over 1,070,700 birds flew at an average speed of 25 miles per hour, at an average height of 2,000-1,000 feet, over Litchfield County, between 7PM and 6AM.

Getty Images
Getty Images

What can you do to help? If you haven't learned like I have, turn off any unnecessary lights on and around your property overnight. This has really been a great year for  Lights Out! Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont signed Act 23-143 on June 27, which requires all state-owned buildings to dim non-essential lighting after 11PM year round. Connecticut, Illinois, and Minnesota are the only states in the US that have comprehensive laws to help save migrating birds from light pollution.

Fairfield County had around 750,000 birds pass overhead last night, New Haven County had even less at just over 500,000. Hartford County? Almost the same as New Haven, at 594,000. Litchfield County, with your undeveloped small towns and lack of highways, plus the foothills of the Berkshires, you are the bird superhighway. Make sure you dim those lights tonight.

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