Electronics and AM Radio Signals Disorientate Migratory Birds
For the first time, German research team has found that electronics and AM radio signals disrupt the migratory birds when they are on the migration paths.
Earlier experiments have shown migratory birds to be on correct migration paths using internal magnetic compasses by earth's magnetic field. But before this research, not enough evidence was present proving that humanly created electromagnetic radiation affects the process.
Lead researcher Prof. Henrik Mouritsen from the University of Oldenburg in Germany said earlier, even he was a bit skeptical about the explanation. "But if you have seemingly unlikely effects then the proof needs to be much stronger - and that is why we have done so many experiments over seven years", affirmed Mouritsen.
It was only then that confidently publicized the findings. Prof Mouritsen said in accidental discovery he found low frequency waves to be interfering with the migratory route map of migratory birds.
He was studying European robins. As a part of a basic experiment involving bird navigation research, birds are put into an orientation cage.
Researchers noticed that European birds that generally orientate themselves on migration paths using their internal compasses guided by earth's magnetic field become confused by the electromagnetic radiation in cities.
The research titled 'Anthropogenic electromagnetic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird' is published in the Journal Nature.
When the robins were moved to huts on the university campus in the city of Oldenburg, they completely lost ability to orientate themselves completely. Even after trying so many measures, Mouritsen said he failed to make it work.
It was only when one day they screened the wooden hut with aluminum and the electromagnetic noise got reduced from 50 kHz to 5Hz. Then the birds' internal compasses were restored and allowed them to find their way again as they flew.