11/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bright Lights, Confused Birds

That robin chirping outside your window in the middle of the night isn't just annoying: It's unnatural, the result of almost 24-hour light in urban areas like Chicago created by street lamps.

"Light pollution issues at night change the rhythms for a lot of species,'' said Jill Riddell, vice president of exhibits at the Notebaert Nature Museum, which opens a new exhibit, "In the Dark," today.

When robins are most active, in the spring, "they'll be up at 3, 4 o'clock in the morning when it's still pitch black," she said.

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