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denver skyline at dusk

Lights Out Denver is an initiative of the City and County of Denver. Part of Denver’s commitment as an Urban Bird Treaty City, the program aims to help local businesses save energy, money, and migratory birds by promoting bird-safe buildings and reducing nighttime lighting.

Scientists estimate the hundreds of millions of birds are killed every year due to lit buildings. When tall buildings are in the flight path of migrating birds the lights interfere with their internal navigational system. The birds, who for centuries have used the stars as a map, confuse the building lights for stars and either fly in circles around the buildings and die of exhaustion or collide into the windows.

Yes. Denver is along a principal route of the Central Migration Flyway, which birds use to make their yearly journeys from their breeding grounds in the north to their wintering grounds in the south. 

Birds that migrate through Denver include the American robin, American kestrel, and Killdeer, among many others.

 

Not only do the beauty and diversity of birds contribute greatly to our experience of nature, but birds are also essential to a healthy environment. For example, they:

  • Consume billions of insects daily (including mosquitos)
  • Pollinate plants
  • Disperse countless seeds

They also contribute to our economy, as birdwatching has become the second most popular leisure activity in North America, after gardening.

Spring Migration: mid-March to the beginning of June

Fall Migration: mid-August to the beginning of November

Lights Out Denver is a voluntary program in which building owners, managers, and tenants can ensure that their buildings are bird-friendly by committing to:

  • Extinguishing decorative architectural lighting between midnight and dawn during spring and fall migration (March 15 – May 31 and August 15 – October 31)
  • Dimming or extinguishing internal lighting between midnight and dawn during spring and fall migration (March 15 – May 31 and August 15 – October 31)

Turning out lights yields many rewards:

  • Energy and cost savings
  • Reduced light pollution
  • Decrease in CO2 emissions
  • A safer environment for birds
  • A healthier environment for all of us

While the program is in effect during key bird migration periods – April 1 through May 31 and August 15 through November 15 – building managers are encouraged to participate year-round.

  • City and County Building 
  • Fire Headquarters and Stations
  • Police Administrative Building
  • Police District 6

It’s easy to participate in Lights Out Denver! Simply fill out the form below:

By signing up for Lights Out Denver, our building commits to extinguish decorative architectural lighting and dim or extinguish internal lighting between midnight and dawn during spring and fall migration (March 15 – May 31 and August 15 – October 31)