Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Better Tower Blinkers Benefit Birds

"Switching Tower Lights Could Save Birds"
Discovery (April 15, 2009)

"Millions of birds die every year from nighttime collisions with communication towers. But there may be a simple way to save tons of avian lives -- without tearing down towers or sacrificing airplane safety.

"All we have to do, suggests a new study, is change some light bulbs so that steady lights become blinking lights...."

If true, this sounds like a good idea. Some birds apparently react to steady communication tower lights like moths do to candles and light bulbs: with similarly regrettable effects. From the point of view of the birds and moths, at least.

And, I don't mind making reasonable efforts to help maintain bird populations. Besides, all those avian carcasses must be a bit of a mess.

If the change is implemented, I hope that the powers that be are sensible. I'd think we could wait for existing bulbs to run through their useful life before swapping them for blinking bulbs.

It's odd - around here, most communications towers I remember have blinking lights already, alternating with steady lights.

Aside from the feathered friends angle, I'd think that blinking tower lights would be more easily noticed than steadily burning ones. Sounds good for pilots - although I'm no expert on this.

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