TWC partners to support Bird Safe Erie: Lights Out and Collision Monitoring During Migration

Snow Bunting

By: TWC Staff

Did you know that millions of birds migrate over northwest Pennsylvania each year and that the majority of those fly at night?  Generations of these nocturnal migrants have crossed our skies every spring and fall, but birds today experience challenges that their ancestors did not. Artificial lighting now fills the nighttime sky and can be very disorienting to birds, which may die from colliding with or circling lit buildings until exhausted. You can read more about this issue at

Erie sees large numbers of migrating birds because birds prefer not to migrate over large expanses of open water which lack food and places to rest. Thus, many of them are funneled along the lakeshore.

Tamarack Wildlife Center is proud to support Bird Safe Erie which is a new initiative to help make Erie more bird friendly. This initiative encourages people to reduce unnecessary lighting around buildings and homes, and to treat glass windows to make them less reflective. To help birds, shield all necessary outdoor lighting so that it only shines downward, and install motion sensors which only illuminate lights when needed. In tall buildings, turn off  interior lights after dark or draw the shades.

Erie joins 46 other cities already participating in the nationwide Lights Out program. Erie Bird Observatory is coordinating a collision monitoring study which involves daily patrolling of the ground around selected buildings in Erie to search for collision victims. Any live victims will be brought to TWC for treatment. If you live in Erie and may be interested in helping with monitoring, please fill out the form at or send an email to stating your interest in volunteering. By working together, we can all help more birds migrate safely.

Posted in

Recent Posts

An Eagle’s Journey to Recovery and Release

April 4, 2024

We are very excited to share that a 3 year old Bald Eagle nicknamed “Hera” (patient 23-1189) is ready for release following 9 months of treatment. Hera has had a…

Read Post >

Songbirds Soar after Concussion Recovery

October 18, 2023

A Common Yellowthroat warbler and a Song Sparrow were released following treatment for concussions, including anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and nutritional support. These birds were found by Erie Bird Observatory volunteers during their…

Read Post >