Lights Out Philly, our new and current listings, and Philly happenings. Did you know about this nationwide effort? If you’d like to discuss real estate or anything in this newsletter please send me an email: [email protected] This edition of Around the Block was originally published on Friday, 4/1/22.
Relevant Commentary, all information Philly (real estate and otherwise), Open Houses, Listings, Happenings, and More — by Jeff “City” Block
Lights Out Philly
This is going to be the first in a periodic series on an issue that is very important to my family—specifically bird collisions and then more generally, wildlife conservation.
Bird collisions may not seem like a big deal. I used to think there were only a few bird collisions here and there. Actually, the numbers are staggering. They are hard to believe, but they are true.
The great news is that there is something easy to do to help. It takes zero time and will actually save you money. And it is part of a nationwide effort to help save birds. It is Lights Out Philly, which I will discuss in detail below.
But first, please consider this:
Up to One Billion birds are killed in the United States each year due to collisions with man-made structures, including high-rise buildings and residential homes. It is impossible to know the exact number, of course; however, a detailed 2014 study published in The Condor definitively determined that between 365,000,000 and 988,000,000 birds are killed by colliding with buildings every year, and the number likely exceeds 600,000,000. Whether we are talking about a billion or half a billion, the numbers are shockingly high. And consider this is just in the US. Worldwide, the numbers are in the billions.
When a bird is killed, it affects the ongoing bird population well beyond that one deceased bird. For example, mourning doves are seasonally monogamous, they lay two eggs per clutch, and generate up to six hatchings per year. So, if one mourning dove is killed by hitting a window, it could mean up to a dozen offspring that are not born that year.
I used to think that glass-plated skyscrapers were the predominant perpetrator of bird collisions. Actually, low-rise residences are involved in more than half of all bird-collision deaths. This brings me to Lights Out Philly, as I discuss below.
“Bird Safe Philly is a partnership led by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Audubon Mid-Atlantic, Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, National Audubon Society, Valley Forge Audubon Society, and Wyncote Audubon Society.
The partnership is designed to help protect native birds in the Philadelphia area from a variety of issues that can harm them in urban areas, especially issues that can cause birds to collide with buildings and other human-made structures. Bird Safe Philly was created in response to a mass collision event that occurred on October 2, 2020, in which thousands of migratory birds died after colliding with buildings in Center City Philadelphia.” [From https://www.birdsafephilly.org/ ]
Bird Safe Philly works on multiple initiatives, including collision monitoring and helping to provide solutions to prevent collisions. Some solutions involve using certain types of glass in homes and buildings and treating windows in various ways to help prevent collisions. I find this subject really fascinating, so I will discuss some of these initiatives in future ATBs.
Today I want to talk about one of Bird Safe Philly’s signature initiatives, which is super easy to do, can make a big difference, and just happens to Start Today! Lights Out Philly is a semi-annual event that takes place during the spring and fall bird migrations (April 1-May 31 & August 15-November 15).
Why Lights Out? “Each year, tens of million birds pass through Philadelphia during the spring and fall migration. Unfortunately, many are killed when they fly into buildings, confused by artificial lights at night or by reflective or transparent glass surfaces. Artificial lights at night can attract birds migrating at night to buildings and ultimately cause them to collide with other parts of the buildings associated with the lights.”
What is Lights Out? It is really easy, non-intrusive, and straightforward. Turn off all unnecessary lights in your home, condo, or apartment between midnight and 6 am. Block as many other lights as possible with window treatments. That is it. And if you always have your lights off anyway, you can still sign up. Maybe turn off unnecessary outdoor lighting. The commercial and residential sign-ups are all on the Lights Out Philly webpage, as well as this fact sheet and FAQs for tenants and homeowners.
If you want to participate, please sign up. And it would be awesome if you replied to this email and let me know that you did.
And here is an article from Inquirer.com about Philly’s skyline going mostly dark starting tonight.
I love the spring and fall migrations because it is obviously not all about bird collisions. It is about the joys of having those tens of millions of birds pass through Philly! Next week I will talk about the wonders of spring migration and some great places to go check out birds.
Have a great weekend.
216 S Melville Street
Brand New Listing
4 BD + Office | 2.5 BA | 2,300 SF | Front Yard | Covered Porch | Rear Yard with Deck | $625,000
Fully updated 4 bedroom plus office, 2.5 bath home on a neighborly tree-lined block in the Penn Alexander School CATCHMENT. Front yard, lovely covered porch, and rear yard with deck. Nice character, high-ceilings, and nice light and space.
The front porch leads to the main living floor, which offers an open floor plan; hardwood floors; a sizable living area; open dining room; and open eat-in-kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances, pantry closet, and a door leading to decked rear patio. Half bath.
The 2nd floor offers a big and bright, east facing front bedroom with large 3-window bay, two other nice-sized bedrooms plus a very large full bath with double vanity.
The 3rd floor is the capacious, super bright full floor primary suite ( with custom curtains if you want less morning light). Three nice closets. Plenty of room for bureaus and sitting area. Built in shelves. Ceiling fan. The tile primary bath offers a double granite vanity, stall shower, and whirlpool tub.
The 4th floor is a converted full-height attic with flexible space that gets excellent all-day light and is perfect for an office, studio, TV room, play room, etc.
Large, dry basement for storage, mechanicals, and washer And dryer. Plenty of closets and storage throughout this home.
2-zone HVAC, all new roofs, new high-efficiency water heater, updated electric throughout (no knob & tube).
This is a lovely home on a great block in the Penn Alexander Catchment. Within blocks of Clark Park and its phenomenal Farmers Market, Local 44, Bottle Shop, Green Line Cafe, Knockbox Cafe, and ReAnimator Coffee, Taco Taco Mexican, Tampopo, Renata’s, Clarkville, Baltimore Avenue Restaurant Row, CVS, movie theater, and much more. Walk to HUP, Penn, CHOP, Penn Vet, Drexel, University of the Sciences. 11 minutes to Center City by car and plenty of convenient SEPTA options. With a 95 WalkScore and 97 BikeScore.
Head to Northern Liberties for its 10-day Restaurant Week which includes multi-course lunch and dinner menus ranging from $15 to $35 from more than 20 bars, restaurants, and breweries. Also, while there, visit the lifestyle boutique, Trunc which sells locally made, socially responsible, and environmentally conscious products.
Visit Workhouse Brewing Company’s taproom, Workhorse SRT right off of Schuylkill River Trail.
Head to Midtown Village for Michael Schulson’s brand new Italian restaurant Prunella, The menu features nine American-style pizzas, but pasta dishes, fish, pork entrees, and several hot and cold apps are included as well. See the full menu here.
Through May 1st Chef Jennifer Zavala is the resident Chef at Volvér in the Kimmel Center. Chef Jennifer Zavala is the creator of the amazing tamales and birria tacos at East Passyunk’s Juana Tamale.
Enjoy 85 live and virtual performances from theaters across the region during Philly’s annual Theatre Week. All performances are either free, $15, or $30.
Throughout the month of April, the Da Vinci Art Alliance offers all-ages arts programming that explores sustainability and its effects on the community. This Saturday, start the fest off by meeting members of The Philly Goat Project in Palumbo Park.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia celebrates its birthday with a three-month-long celebration.
Through April 18th, Sesame Place has various activities for Easter including, egg hunts, a parade, and a bunny hop dance party.
From April 1 to 17th the South Street Headhouse District hosts an egg hunt with over 50 artist-created eggs hidden in storefronts and businesses throughout the area. To win some awesome prizes, snap a photo of each egg you find and follow South Street’s official Instagram handle to get more clues.
From April 2 to 15th, Linvilla Orchards has 20-minute Easter-themed hayrides that include special treats, stories for the kids, and a photo op with the Easter Bunny.
Get the most out of spring with a visit to Longwood Gardens and enjoy its annual Spring Blooms event featuring fields of azaleas, tulips, wisteria, and more.
As always, please know that I’m humbled by and appreciative of your introductions and referrals. If you have a friend, colleague, or family member that is in need of Expert Real Estate Representation, please have them contact me.
Be assured, I will do my best to exceed their expectations! Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of Around the Block.
Some imagery in this e-newsletter was sourced via UWISHUNU, phila.gov, and Canva.