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As free as a bird? Light pollution a hazard for migratory birds

Nov 04, 2004 / alpMedia
More and more migratory birds are falling prey to night-time lighting conditions as they fly south. A closed cover of low-lying fog such as the one that prevailed over large areas of Switzerland in mid-October seriously disrupts the migratory birds' ability to orientate themselves; combined with towns and villages that are brightly lit at night it can represent a death trap for the birds.
Migratory birds then orientate themselves according to artificial sources of light and either collide with tall buildings or are unable to find their way back out of the "light dome" lying over the towns. They fly around for hours at random and suffer stress before finally falling to the ground with exhaustion and dying. According to the Swiss Bird Observatory at Sempach, reducing the lighting in towns and villages on foggy nights could significantly reduce the risk posed to migratory birds.
Source and information: (de)
Filed under: environment, nature