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50m birds killed by comms towers

Dick Dastardly's latest gadget?

Alarmingly it has been estimated that around 50 million birds are killed by communications towers worldwide, with bad weather and red lights linked to the climbing numbers of avian casualties.

Scientists in the US have suggested that the red lights put up on towers to alert pilots of their presence are attracting flocks of birds in bad weather.


Apparently the red aura caused by the light shining through cloud or rain attracts the birds, causing them to circle around the masts until they collide with supports, wires or, worse of all, die from exhaustion.

Flashing red lights appear to reduce the attraction, with the study, published in the Christian Science Monitor, finding that deaths dropped 71 per cent if the lights were not always on.

Of course, the downside to that is that the flashing red lights are not as visible to pilots and the potential danger to humans could increase.