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Recapping the 2020 Tribute in Light Monitoring

On the 19th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, four beams of light shone into the sky in memorial of those whose lives were tragically lost on that day. Two of those beams were at the Tribute in Light Memorial in New York City, representing the Twin Towers. Two new Tributes also brightened the sky this year: one in Shanksville, PA, memorializing the heroes on board Flight 93, and one at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. In addition to monitoring the tribute in New York City this year, NYC Bird Alliance staff and our colleagues at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology provided resources and advice to the organizations and individuals monitoring the other two sites. The new installations presented us with a valuable research opportunity, as the sites are each unique in terms of location, migration density, and environmental variables. Our hope is to use data collected at all three sites to learn more about the effect of artificial light on bird behavior and how these other factors play a role.