Major Raleigh Real Estate Company Joins Lights Out Program

In partnership with Wake Audubon, Kane Realty will help make the night skies safer for migrating birds.

One of the biggest developers and building managers in Raleigh is committed to making the city’s night skies safer for migrating birds, thanks to a new partnership with Wake Audubon.

Kane Realty Corporation has joined the local Audubon chapter’s Lights Out Wake initiative. As part of the program, the developer will turn off unnecessary building lights at its commercial buildings during migration season, and is asking its tenants to do the same.

“We are thrilled that such a prominent local company has signed on to help protect migratory birds passing through our city,” said Mary Abrams, Wake Audubon president and Audubon North Carolina board president. “Migration is inherently dangerous for birds. Turning off unnecessary lights during this critical time is one of the simplest ways we can help, and we are glad that Kane Realty is modeling how local businesses can be good partners.”

Kane Realty is behind some of Raleigh’s most prominent development, including North Hills, the Dillon, and Smoky Hollow. 

“Our property management team is excited about this partnership with Wake Audubon and hope our local community will join us in this worthwhile effort,” said Stacey Buescher, Managing Director of Operations for Kane Realty Corporation.

The company joins a growing movement of building owners, city governments, and regular people across North Carolina who are raising awareness about the threat that light pollution poses to birds. The city of Raleigh was the first city in North Carolina to join the cause, working with Wake Audubon to raise awareness and turn off lighting at municipal buildings. Across North Carolina, other towns and cities have done the same, including Matthews, Greensboro, Asheville, Cary, and Chapel Hill. 

Every year, up to a billion birds are killed because of building collisions and light pollution. Most songbirds migrate at night and navigate using the moon and stars. Unfortunately, they are also attracted to artificial lights and can quickly become disoriented, fatigued, and then collide with buildings.

The good news is that we know turning off buildings lights can help. One study in Chicago found that turning off just half the lights of a building reduced bird deaths by 60 percent.

Wake Audubon launched its Lights Out program ten years ago, and started by having volunteers survey buildings during migration to tally the number of birds killed or injured by building collisions. Since then, the program has grown and cities across the state have their own Lights Out programs.

More about Lights Out Wake: Sponsored by Wake Audubon Society, this voluntary program is aimed at getting more building and homeowners to turn off and minimize external and internal building lights at night, during spring and fall migration, in an effort to reduce bird collisions.

Commercial building owners/tenants are asked to pledge the following between March 15 – May 31 and September 10 – November 30, between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM.

  • Turn off exterior decorative lighting
  • Extinguish spot and flood-light
  • Down-shield exterior lighting or limit to ground level
  • Reduce lobby and atrium lighting where possible
  • Turn off interior lighting, especially on upper floors
  • Substitute task and area lighting for workers staying late

To learn how you can get involved with an active Lights Out program, contact your local chapter

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