Ten Thousand Birds Trapped by WTC Memorial Lights

by Christopher Paul on September 18, 2010

This year, I mentioned to my wife that I wish the World Trade Center Memorial Lights would stay lit for more than one night. In earlier years, when I was working in the World Financial Center across from Ground Zero, I always enjoyed walking past the massive light fixtures that beamed the Twin Towers’ likeness into the sky. I was able to see them shine for a week or more at a time and it was a little comforting when you still felt shaken by the tragic event that took place.

But I never thought there would be consequences for shining the lights and yet there are. One of them is that the lights can cause migratory birds to become disoriented. This year, about 10,000 birds became trapped by the intense light. They had to turn off the memorial for about 20 minutes just to calm the birds down so they’d disperse.

Someone captured video of the birds circling the lights and then someone else created a rather eloquent video production of the whole thing.

When you look closely, you can see the reflections of the birds in the lights. And in certain shots, you can see them hovering up and down the entire length of the memorial. I’m glad they turned off the lights, though. According to Arbroath, 90,000 migratory birds die each year from New York’s lighted skyscrapers.

10,000 birds trapped in Twin Towers memorial light – Telegraph via The Daily What

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