White lights on oil and gas platforms cause an estimated 200,000 bird deaths per year because migrating songbirds are drawn to the lights then become disoriented and exhausted as they circle the platforms, a release from the American Bird Conservancy said Friday.
Some birds crash into the platform or fall into the ocean from exhaustion and others land on the platform where there is no food or drinking water.
When finally able to leave, they can be in a weakened state and unable to make landfall or are more vulnerable to predation, the ABC said.
"We are talking about simple fixes to existing platform lighting," said Michael Fry, ABC director of conservation advocacy.
"We need to replace both white and red lights with commercially available green lights, shield the lights from above and reduce the duration of nighttime lighting during bird migration periods," he said.
"Safety concerns can be managed within the framework of these changes," Fry said.
Other countries, such as the Netherlands, have instituted bird-friendly lighting on oil and gas platforms off their coasts, the ABC said.
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