A Hauntingly Helpful Halloween

Halloween season has appeared at Tracy Aviary! The leaves have started to fall among the beautiful autumn plants, and the birds are all starting to bundle up. Inside the Aviary, we have begun getting ready for our seasonal events, such as Oktobirdfest and Halloween Hoot! These parties are sure to be filled with delicious food, themed activities and, of course, great decorations. During this festive time, we have a few simple things that everyone can keep in mind in order to care for our planet and it's inhabitants from the candy we consume, the decorations we put up, the messes we make, to the lights in our homes.



Cruel Candy 

One of the scariest parts of this otherwise happy holiday are the effects it has on our planet. Candy companies that use palm oil for their sweets and snacks are a leading cause to deforestation and destruction of our rainforests and the wild animals that call them home. To combat this halloween horror, choose a candy that doesn't contain palm oil, or at the very least, uses sustainable palm oil in their treats. For information on what candies are palm oil safe, please click the link: https://www.zoo.org/palmoil




Wicked Webbing 

Halloween is not only the best in terms of tricks and treats, but also in decorations! This year at the Aviary, however, you will find one thing missing: fake spider webs. Although it hasn't always been known as an issue for wildlife (us included), there are few things more harmful around halloween time than these simple decorations. For birds and other small animals and insects, fake spider webs aren't much different than real spider webs... they act as nets to catch everything in their grasp and they don't let go. Saying no to this harmful decoration will help everything from bees to squirrels to birds in migration roam freely this Halloween.




Loathsome Littering 

By now we all know how harmful plastic is on our natural environments. It's filling up our lands, oceans and the animals that call them home, and it doesn't decompose. Choosing alternatives to plastic, as well as picking up our drinks, candy wrappers and other decorations is a frighteningly fantastic way we can help reduce the risk of harm to our local lands and wildlife.




Scary Skies

While out and about this season, as well as at home, there are some painless ways to reduce the risk of bird-related accidents. Did you know that the majority of migratory songbirds migrate at night?  Light pollution from our cities and neighborhoods can cause these birds to become disoriented and drawn down among homes and buildings where they collide with lighted windows and structures. This can cause shock, injury, and death. It's not too healthy for us, either. Light pollution not only disrupts ecosystems, but can cause us adverse health effects, as well as wastes energy and money. Some easy ways to help with this are: 

  • Turning off all indoor and outdoor lights when not in use
  • Installing motion-sensors on outdoor lights
  • Using warm/white bulbs (color temperature less than 3000 K)
  • Taking the "Lights Out Pledge"  (turn off all outdoor lights between 11pm-6am during the months of March-May and August- October.)
  • putting decals or stickers on your windows to ward birds away from clear glass

To find out more or to take the "lights out pledge", please click the link: http://www.tracyaviaryconservation.org/lightsoutsaltlake





There are plenty of ways we can help out our planet, as well as our local and not-so-local wildlife this spook season. Making safe and conservation-conscious choices are great ways we can make for a hauntingly helpful Halloween. To enjoy some other heart-stopping Halloween activites, join us for our 3-day annual family fun event, Halloween Hoot! This Halloween, you will find creepy crafts, ghastly games, eerie encounters, trick-or-tweeting and more, plus a costume parade with Andy (Oct 31st only). For details and descriptions, please check out our website at https://tracyaviary.org/events/. Event will take place on October 26, 27, and 31st. 



- Mackenzy Johnson, Public Relations Coordinator