At Fannin Tree Farm, we love our feathered friends, whether they are full-time Texas residents living in Fannin Trees or just passing through during the Spring and Fall. Lights Out Texas is one of my personal passions to bring awareness to, and something we can all take part in by just turning out your lights during peak migration season.

This effort was originally launched in 2017 by Houston Audubon and American National Insurance Company following a major bird collision event involving 400 birds in Galveston. Around this time, Cornell Lab of Ornithology developed their BirdCast migration forecast maps using historical radar data. Later, Lights Out Texas took hold in Dallas-Fort Worth, led by Texas Conservation Alliance, The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and Dallas Zoo, with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Colorado State University supporting their efforts, and Texan by Nature helping with outreach in Fall 2020.

“Every Texan can participate in protecting our feathered friends by simply turning off their lights at night…Taking action now is vital because every spring and fall, between a third and a quarter of all birds migrating at night through the United States, travel through Texas.” – FORMER FIRST LADY AND TEXAN BY NATURE FOUNDER, LAURA BUSH.

During migration season, March 1 to June 15th, you can help by turning off all non-essential lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Spring Migration Season in Texas:

Full Spring Migration Period: March 1 – June 15

Critical Spring Peak Migration Period: April 19 – May 7


Guidelines for Everyone

  • Turn off all non-essential lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night during migration season.
  • Do not use landscape lighting to light up trees or gardens where birds may be resting.
  • For essential lights (like security and safety lighting) use the following dark skies-friendly lighting practices:
    • Aim lights down
    • Use lighting shields to direct light downwards and avoid light shining into the sky or trees
    • Use motion detectors and sensors so lights are only on when you need them
    • Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light being emitted from windows
  • You can find examples of dark skies-friendly lighting from the International Dark Sky Association and additional guidance and language regarding dark skies from the McDonald Observatory’s dark skies resources and recommended lighting practices.

If you own or manage a building, consider the following for custodial services:

  • Adjust custodial schedules to end by 11:00 PM
  • Ask custodial staff to ensure that lights are off after they finish their work

You can find more information here: