The Verify team talked to some outdoor experts. It's not just Maryland that's expected to see the birds -- it's all over the US! And turning off your outdoor lights actually might help them. Here's what we found.
QUESTION: Will turning off your porch lights really help the millions of birds expected to fly across the country this week?
ANSWER: Yes, turning off outdoor lights like those on porches can help birds better migrate at night. And yes, millions of birds are expected to fly all over the country, even here in the DC metro area.
. . .
Well, 80% of them migrate at night, says Kyle Horton, an assistant professor studying wildlife conservation at Colorado State University. He says many birds start flying around 45 minutes after sunset with peak migration flight about 2-3 hours later, with a lot flying between 300-600 meters above ground level.
Christopher Murray from the DC Audubon Society said that many of these birds are already vulnerable from a tumultuous hurricane season that throws them off their courses and in places where they might not easily find food or shelter.
"So what that means is we shouldn't do anything to make that job harder for them, and obviously, we can't control the weather," Murray said.
Do they present any evidence that birds are confused by porch lights and other outdoor lights? No, not really, just a feeling. Sometime's I think these people just want to deny other people the ability to do anything just out of spite.
On the other hand, we don't usually leave our porch light on, anyway: