Re: Turning off building lights reduces US migratory bird kills

Subject: Re: Turning off building lights reduces US migratory bird kills
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 09:34:06 +1000
Laurie Knight asked "Is there any data that indicates that birds flying into 
buildings during 
the night-time is a significant problem in Australia?"

No-one appears to have offered an opinion on this so here's my two bobs 

Australia doesn't have the spectacular migration of birds that occurs in 
the northern hemisphere.  While the number of honeyeaters passing over the 
Blue Mountains or along the Murrumbidgee River in the ACT might appear 
spectacular to us it pales into insignificant against the number of birds 
involved in migrations in the USA or Europe. 

As a result, there are huge numbers of birds migrating at night killed by 
collisions with a large range of structures illuminated by light in the 
USA.  This doesn't appear to happen to a great degree in Australia.  The 
only example I can think of at the moment is the lighthouse on Booby 
Island in the Torres Straight.  Even there number of birds striking this 
structure is relatively insignificant when compared to the massive numbers 
killed in the USA.

It worries me at times that opponents of wind powered turbines, for 
example, in Australia often quote figures of bird strikes in the USA which 
can be hugely misleading.  I'm not putting forward any opinion regarding 
this issue, I'm merely saying that bird migration in the northern 
hemisphere is a very different affair to that we see here in Australia.



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