Electrosmog endangers migratory birds

Tuesday, 08. August 2017

Electrosmog endangers migratory birds

The negative effect of electrosmog on humans continues to be a big topic of discussion. There are already numerous studies dealing with the topic of electrosmog and its effect on the human organism. The results of these studies are not clear cut but you can definitely venture to say that electrosmog is more likely than not to cause some harm.

Experiments conducted at the University of Oldenburg have supported this statement. Researchers have demonstrated in a series of experiments that even weak electromagnetic radiations can paralyse the magnetic sense of migratory birds. The low frequencies tested correspond to those that are emitted from household appliances.

For more than half a century, the magnetic sense of migratory birds has been known due to the experiments of the Frankfurt ornithologist pair of Wolfgang and Roswitha Wiltschko. Robins or pigeons use it on their long migrations in addition to genetically-based navigation systems that help them to orientate with the sun and stars. On cloudy nights, this magnetic sense is of particularly great importance. Although scientists have touched on this sensory organ of migratory birds for decades, the issue is not yet fully researched.

How does the interference of electromagnetic radiation manifest itself in the behaviour of migratory birds? The behaviour of robins has been under particularly observation for this purpose. The results have shown confused birds, who no longer knew where they should fly to. In other words - the inner compass of the birds failed. Researchers only realised that this failure could be traced to electromagnetic radiation by chance when researching how the magnetic sense of a robin works. On the campus of the University of Oldenburg the birds were behaving unusually, were confused, and it was not possible at first to explain what the cause of their behaviour was. An electrophysiologist eventually suggested that the bird huts the confused nocturnal birds were found in should be screened with aluminium plates. The result was that the birds rediscovered their sense of orientation.

An amazing aspect of this discovery is that the robins responded only to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range of between two kilohertz to five megahertz. This means that the sense of direction of the birds is not in any way disturbed by mobile telephone frequencies or power lines.

Although the health effects of electromagnetic fields on human health are still partially a matter of debate, there is clear evidence of an impact on robins. For seven years this clear evidence was established at the highest scientific level. Different groups of doctoral students recorded the behaviour of the birds, without knowing whether their cages were protected against electromagnetic waves or not. These were double-blind experiments, designed to avoid any kind of interference. Only later were the results merged. Further tests with deliberately produced low-level electrosmog confirmed that the magnetic compass of animals is affected by it. The experiment was also conducted in a rural area, with a lower electromagnetic exposure - the result of that being the magnetic sense of robins worked perfectly.

  • Video report on the effect of electromagnetism on the orientation of migratory birds