In a statewide proclamation, Governor Snyder has designated Aug. 15 through Oct. 31 as Safe Passages Great Lakes Days, helping protect millions of migratory birds as they move across Michigan this fall.
To keep birds safe as they pass through the state, Project Safe Passages Great Lakes encourages the owners of tall buildings to follow some simple recommendations during the peak migratory seasons. SPGL Days are from March 15-31 and Aug. 15 - Oct. 31. The proclamation asks all Michigan residents to turn off nonessential lighting between 11p.m. and dawn and participate in SPGL Days by “reduc[ing] the use of unneeded electricity throughout the state.” Owners and occupants of buildings over four stories tall are encouraged to:
Turn off all lights between 11p.m. and 6 a.m. on unoccupied floors and in unused spaces.
Keep light “inside” by covering windows or using task lights instead of ceiling lights.
Turn off all exterior illumination from midnight to dawn.
Michigan lies in the path of two principal migration routes—the Atlantic and the Mississippi Flyways, and each spring and fall hundreds of thousands of birds perish while crossing our state. Dr. Daniel Klem Jr., an ornithologist at Muhlenberg College, estimates that in the United States more than one billion birds, roughly five to twenty percent of the yearly bird population are killed in bird-building collisions every year. More than half of these collisions are fatal, and birds that at first seem to have survived the impact often become easy targets for predators. The danger is perhaps greatest during fall migration, when inexperienced birds are making the trip for the first time.