League City joins ‘Light Out’ movement to protect migrating birds

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The lights go out at League City for the next few weeks, but it’s for a good cause.

City joins statewide campaign, Lights Out Texas, to urge residents and businesses to turn off all non-essential outdoor lights at night between April 22 and May 12 to protect migratory birds on their annual spring flight through Texas.

“What happens is that most of the bird migration happens in the evening (11am to 6am), and when you have these outside lights the birds get very confused and can actually collide to buildings,” said Sarah Greer Osborne, spokeswoman for the City of League City.

The city is doing its part by turning off the lights in all of its buildings and facilities during these hours.

“It’s not really a problem for us because we don’t have high-rise buildings, but we encourage our residents and our businesses because it really works,” Osborne said.

Communities in the region are part of a vital migration route

Interested in bird watching?

For more information on the Spring Migration Challenge: https://bit.ly/3Osguyp

To learn more about the Clear Lake Loop Bird Watching Trail: https://bit.ly/3vyPl4i

For more information on bird watching activities in League City: https://bit.ly/3KYVFbH


Initiated by Texan by Nature and Audubon Texas in collaboration with Texas A&M University Biodiversity Research and Education Collections and Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Nature Trackers, Lights Out is a effort to educate and raise awareness of how people can help migratory birds find their way. safely to spring and fall destinations.

According to Texan by Nature, a statewide organization that promotes conservation efforts, between a third and a quarter of all birds migrating at night in spring and fall across the United States pass through the Texas.

This trip includes most of the Upper Texas Coast, and in particular the Clear Lake Loop, which passes through the cities of League City, Kemah, Seabrook, Nassau Bay, Dickinson, Pearland, parts of Pasadena and La Porte, and offers a variety of habitats, including marshes, woodlands, coastal wetlands, and grasslands. These habitats provide refuge for migrating birds during their journey.

Cleaning scheduled for April 23

The campaign is part of a larger effort by League City’s Convention and Visitors Bureau to lead several environmental initiatives, including a community-wide cleanup event from 8 a.m. to noon on the 23 April at Rustic Park and Magnolia Creek, organized in partnership with the Keep League City Beautiful Citizens Committee and the Bay Area Church.

Those wishing to participate can park at Bay Area Church, 4800 Main St. to be driven to one of two drop-off points. Shuttles will run continuously to drop off and pick up participants. All cleaning supplies will be provided, but participants are encouraged to wear sunscreen, mosquito repellent and long pants with waders/or rain boots. Breakfast will be provided and there will be water stations throughout the cleaning area.

To sign up, go to surveymonkey.com/r/lccleanup.

City Birdwatching Initiative

The city recently invited representatives from the Houston Audubon Society to teach residents how to make their backyards more bird-friendly.

“It’s really part of our (Convention and Visitors Bureau) effort to bring more birdwatching to our area because it’s a huge tourism industry,” she said. “People come from all over the world (to this area) to watch the birds, Galveston’s Feather Fest is a good example.”

The Spring Migration Challenge, which lasts until May 31, asks residents to use a guide to identify and tick off the nine birds that pass through League City each year, such as the Baltimore oriole, ruby-throated hummingbird, tanager bright red summer. , Painted Bunting, Purple Swallow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Northern Peruvian and Indigo Bunting.

The challenge gives birdwatchers and first-timers an opportunity to be part of the migratory experience, Osborne said.

Public response, Osborn said, has been enthusiastic and supportive.

For more information on the challenge, visit leaguecitycvb.com/springmigration.

disturbing videos

The city has shared links to videos on its social media platforms and at city council meetings showing flocks of migrating birds – disoriented by blinding lights – crashing into skyscrapers across the state.

These images had an impact on the visceral reactions of residents and city officials, Osborne said.

“When people see these videos and see someone holding these dead birds in their hand, they realize this is a big deal and something they didn’t know,” she said.

They also realize, Osborne said, that they can help prevent these accidents by doing something as simple as turning off the lights in their own backyard.

According to Osborne, the city is responding to an increased interest in birding over the past two years in League City, evident through the use of birding apps. Part of that, Osborne said, can be attributed to the atmosphere of confinement that has accompanied the pandemic. People were noticing nature more because they were finding ways to be active outdoors.

“People say ‘I see birds everywhere’, but it’s not like they haven’t been there, it’s just that suddenly now so many people are out because of COVID, they notice more,” Osborn said. “We’ve seen people get out more and explore their backyards and immediate surroundings and look for city parks they may not have been to. I think the interest was sparked during COVID, and it’s exciting that it’s continuing because it’s something you can do with the whole family.

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