Kookaburras and Nightwork

To: "Craig Williams" <>, <>
Subject: Kookaburras and Nightwork
From: "michael norris" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 15:13:52 +1000
Hi all

As I've enjoyed birds and bats feeding near lamps I don't blame Craig Williams for his original email when he asked if other have noted Kookaburras exploiting human light regimes to good effect.

BUT is it "good"? There is increasing concern, following the pioneering work by Prof Gerhard Eisenbeis of Johannes Gutenberg Universitat in Mainz, Germany, that artificial light is greatly damaging insect diversity across the globe. Lighting can attract insects to be fried, separate males from females (especially where the females are wingless) and vacuum them up to be caught by predators.

Here in Melbourne we have, for instance, a Yarra bridge - the Bolte - which has been turned into an "icon" with brilliantly lit towers. Thousands of Silver Gulls, now breeding throughout the year!, can be seen flying there at night. (Of course they are also feeding elsewhere with chicken bones found by Ian Temby at their nest sites!).

Gerhard's experiments so far conclude that sodium rather than mercury vapour and lamp shades which direct their light to where it is needed (downwards) will help insects (ie. bird food, pollinators, leaf cullers) and save energy (= global warming).

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife

Birding-Aus is now on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message 'unsubscribe
birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU