birds and lights

Subject: birds and lights
From: "Pat O'Malley" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 14:03:35 +1000
Dear All

Having been off the air for a while, it may be that someone has mentioned
this before - if so excuse me.

The arts centre in Melbourne (St Kilda Road) once had a spire that was lit
by white light. On most evenings I was there, this tower was the focus of
silver gulls circling in fair numbers (30+), normally at a radius of 10-20
metres from the spire itself. It was not clear if they were after insects -
but from the generally regular patterns of flight it didn't look like it.

The the spire was rebuilt, somewhat higher, and this time lit with all
manner of colours, often changing regularly. Pretty ghastly in my opinion,
and seemingly so too for the silver gulls which have disappeared.

Does this suggest that the gulls were attracted by white light? or if they
were feeding, by the bugs attracted by white light? Do blues and purples
(the main new lighting colours I've noticed) not attract bugs? I thought
the reverse was true based on  electronic bug zappers. If  I am right in
the latter respects, then this would suggest that the white light is more
important than the bugs.


ps sorry about the signature. If anyone out there can tell me how to turn
this off (on eudora light) i'd be grateful
Pat O'Malley
Professor of Law and Legal Studies
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Law and Management
La Trobe University
Australia  3083

Phone +61 3  9479 2133
Fax     +61 3  9479 1607


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