- Associated Press - Sunday, June 4, 2017

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - An online petition is asking leaders of a city in southeast Texas to help avoid another freak incident blamed for the deaths of nearly 400 migratory birds during a storm.

Hundreds of songbirds died in early May after hitting the side of One Moody Plaza, a 23-story building in Galveston. City officials believe the birds might have been confused by building’s lights and flew into closed windows, The Galveston County Daily News reported Sunday.

“The easiest and most responsible way to ensure tragedies like these don’t happen again are to require office buildings to turn off their lights at night, especially during migration season,” the petition states. “This method is both effective and saves energy.”

Some members of the Galveston City Council have met with Audubon Society officials, along with a building tenant, American National Insurance Company. The insurance company plans to turn off its nighttime lights for the remainder of the migratory season, said Bruce LePard, the company’s senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

“We’re going to be working with the Audubon Society to see if there’s anything else we should be doing,” LePard said. “We want to try to raise awareness of it, and maybe by working with the Audubon Society we can do that.”

Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough said he will look into the issue, including a possible city ordinance, but said American National is likely the only company in the city that would be affected because of its offices’ height.

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Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, https://www.galvnews.com

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