Detroit Audubon Society Fights For Migratory Birds’ Safe Passage

CBS 62 Chief Meteorologist Jim Madaus talked to Rob Duchene of the Detroit Audubon Society about a problem facing migratory birds. The conversation is part of a story aired on First Forecast Mornings on CBS 62 and CW50 on Wednesday, June 27.

According to the Detroit Audubon Society, the problem involves birds colliding with buildings and other tall structures at night located on migration routes. Exterior building lighting and lights shining through windows make matters worse by disrupting the birds’ navigation systems. Like moths around a candle, disoriented birds will continuously circle a lighted building, especially in conditions of rain, fog or low cloud cover.

Research has shown that reducing the lighting of just one major building during peak migration times saved over 8,000 birds annually, decreasing the number of dead birds found around the building by 80 percent.

In 2006, the Detroit Audubon Society initiated Safe Passage Great Lakes. This program encourages building owners and occupants to follow some guidelines to minimize the number of birds attracted to tall structures.

Here’s how you can get involved. 

Follow the recommendations of the Safe Passage Great Lakes Program from mid-March through May and mid-August through October:

  • Turn off all lights at night on unoccupied floors and in unused spaces.
  • Tenants can keep light “inside” by using task lights instead of ceiling lights and by closing window shades.
  • Turn off all exterior illumination from midnight to dawn.

For more information visit:

More from Jim Madaus

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