Celebrate the Night Skies Week begins with raptors migration viewing

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Around the world our night skies are becoming brighter due to overuse and poorly designed outdoor lighting.

Many do not know that light pollution has negative consequences for human, animal, and environmental health in addition to negatively affecting scientific research and artistic inspiration and wonderment.

This is why Starry Skies North, the Minnesota Chapter of Dark Sky International is working to recover the night. Their annual “Celebrate the Night Sky Week” offers an opportunity to explore and celebrate the work taking place and to enjoy the sense of awe that has inspired poets, artists, and scientists throughout the ages.

Saturday September the 9th was the first day of the weeklong event and they were at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory to watch a multitude of raptors and other birds soar overhead while learning about the importance of dark skies for safe migration.

Margie Menzies is the Education Director for Hawk Ridge and she says this viewing is a “very big deal” as sixty to seventy-five percent of the birds that migrate in north America use the Mississippi fly way that passes through Duluth.

“We see more birds here than practically anywhere else, at least in the northern part of the country.
There are lots of other hawk watchers, but they don’t see the numbers that we do here because we’re right on that flyway and we have the advantage of Lake Superior, which is funneling many of these birds right along the lakeshore, right straight through Duluth.”