Every time the college of Pittsburgh football team wins a game, an effective spotlights aimed right up in ~ the skies shine native the tallest building on campus for number of nights. Currently thanks come quick activity by a couple of people who care around birds, these “Victory Lights” will certainly not attitude a risk for birds moving through the area.

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On Saturday, October 7, 2018, Pitt winner its homecoming game versus Syracuse, triggering illumination the the win Lights. The following evening, Pittsburgh-based nature writer and also bird blogger Kate St. Man was monitoring weather radar and saw there to be a big pulse the bird migration approximately Pittsburgh best after sundown. Understanding that the lights were still illuminated, St. Man drove to campus to discover out if birds were becoming disoriented by the shining blue beam.


St. John had previously blogged on external My window about the Cornell rap of Ornithology’s and NYC Audubon’s collaborative job-related to mitigate the bird-collision risks from the huge 9/11 Tribute in irradiate installation in brand-new York City (check out The 9/11 Tribute in irradiate Is Helping united state Learn around Bird Migration, indigenous Living Bird, fall 2018), for this reason she was acquainted with the migration hazard these lamp represented. Certain enough, as she approached the lights, she counted approximately 100 bird circling in the irradiate beam. The next morning, she composed a second blog write-up titled “Deadly Attraction” around the hazard to bird posed by the victory Lights, along with this call to action: “The 9/11 Tribute Light had this problem and solved it. Ns hope we have the right to solve it at Pitt, too.”

Anthony Bledsoe, a retired Pitt faculty member that sits on the plank of the Audubon society of western Pennsylvania, read St. John’s blog post and sent it to his other board members. The news automatically prompted ASWP executive Director Jim Bonner to reach out to the college of Pittsburgh and also its plank of trustees. Bonner common St. John’s blog post, and also a brand-new York times op-ed column, created by Cornell Lab scientists Andrew Farnsworth and Kyle Horton (both that whom are consulting researchers at the NYC Tribute in Light) around how the bird-collision threats posed by bright, nighttime light installations can be mitigated v a bike of routinely shutting off the beams. Within hrs of sending out his email, Bonner to be talking straight to Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.


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By the finish of the day, Bonner had actually secured an agreement that the college would dim the lights because that 15 minutes the end of every hour of illumination, permitting any trapped migrants to proceed on their way.

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“We’re yes, really glad to have been made mindful of this situation,” claimed Pitt director of Media connections Joe Miksch around the brand-new Victory lamp protocol.

“The reaction from Pitt was amazing. The chancellor and senior facilities personnel verified a actual interest in addressing the problem,” stated Bonner. “It all taken place in the expectations of a solitary day. It helped that there was documentation of the problem, and also clear science pointing the method to a solution”