12
Nov
2005

The Urban Decline of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): A Possible Link with Electromagnetic Radiation

http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=754

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Where have all the sparrows gone?

Milt Bowling, who forwarded on the below article, pointed out in his comments that accompanied his message that the reduction in native bird populations coincides time wise with the increase in wireless technology. There certainly is a wealth of information to support a connection but the researchers in the following article seem totally oblivious to the possibility that the decline may be at least partly due to the increase in environmental microwave levels. Why such a research blind spot when it comes to telecommunications? AND who would dare fund an investigation?

Don Maisch


Canadian Media Guild NEWS : HEALTH+SCI-TEC

Where have all the sparrows gone?
By Mary Wiens,
CBCUnlocked Updated: Sep 27, 2005, 16:32

As the old hymn has it, God has his eye on every little sparrow. However, even He may be having a hard time finding the once ubiquitous little birds because the North American population is declining. The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) shows that the number of house sparrows, once the most abundant bird species on the continent, has fallen by 62 per cent since 1966. In Canada, where the data is collected somewhat differently, the BBS estimate of their decline is even more dramatic — a drop of 75 per cent since 1966. No one really knows why there are fewer house sparrows, in part because they’re a low priority for most researchers. Becky Whitham is a project manager with Project Feeder Watch, part of Bird Studies Canada, a non-profit conservation group.

“The question of whether to care is an interesting one,” says Whitham. She sums up the attitude of many researchers towards house sparrows: “The most interesting thing is that they’re an introduced species. They’re declining. So what?”

Birds were once annoyingly abundant

Ever since house sparrows were brought from Europe to New York City in 1860, they’ve been met with a combination of hostility and exasperation. Sparrows quickly drove out native species such as swallows, wrens and bluebirds from their nesting holes. Legend has it that in the late 1800s, house sparrows were so abundant that committee meetings in New York could no longer be conducted with open windows because the jabber of sparrows drowned out the voices inside.

Tony Erskine, research scientist emeritus with the Canadian Wildlife Service, a branch of Environment Canada, says house sparrows are “untidy, noisy and quarrel a lot – rather like people.”

Speaking from his office in Sackville, N.B., Erskine says, local residents often go a month without seeing a house sparrow. “That was unthinkable 50 years ago.”

Erskine uses data from the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts to monitor the decline in house sparrow numbers in the Maritimes. The longest-running bird count in the world, the Christmas Bird Counts started in 1900 and are done all over North America, including 500 in Canada. Each count covers a diameter of 24 kilometres.

Erskine says the sparrow count for Sackville peaked at 1,000 in 1979. He first detected their decline in the 1980s. By 2001, the Christmas Bird Counts found only nine house sparrows in Sackville.

Host of factors blamed for decline

Why? Erskine says the only thing he can be sure of is that it’s due to a host of factors. Global warming, fewer nesting places, changes in snow cover, industrial farming practices – all may be contributing. This isn’t the first time house sparrow populations have collapsed. Erskine says the 1920s saw another dramatic decrease, when horses were replaced by cars in cities across North America. Horse droppings carried a lot of undigested grain, a major source of food for house sparrows.

Erskine speculates that with farms being run more like factories, the big farms have so much manure they’re attracting larger species such as crows and gulls, which in turn drive away the tiny house sparrows. Like many other researchers, Erskine isn’t particularly concerned about the decline of the house sparrow. “They’re too common and too vulgar,” says Erskine. For his part, he’s more concerned about the decline of many native species such as whip-poor-wills, chimney swifts, swallows and night hawks, particularly over the past 15 years.

‘Something’s wrong out there’

But Jon McCracken, a project manager with Bird Studies Canada based in Port Rowan on Lake Erie, says the declining house sparrow populations can’t be treated as a separate phenomenon. “If it were happening to people, we’d be pressing the panic button. But house sparrows are so abundant, we still see them.”

McCracken says the decline in house sparrow populations is happening all over the world, including Europe, where the sound of house sparrows around eaves and rooftops has been familiar for millennia. In North America, says McCracken, their decline receives no attention because house sparrows are an introduced species. “It’s unfortunate,” says McCracken. “These are significant declines. It points to the fact that something’s wrong out there.”

“The question,” says McCracken, “is why.” A question for which at this point, scientists have no conclusive answers.

http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=286
http://www.cbcunlocked.com/artman/publish/printer_482.shtml

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Suspected EMR effects on birdlife

From Betty Venables:

Hi Don,

Further to your list message of last Sunday ‘Where have all the sparrows gone?’ There are reports from our website of observations of suspected rfr effects on birdlife.

Betty Venables - EMR safety Network Int’l

EMR AFFECTS ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

With regard to electrical sensitivity, it appears that as well as many highly sensitive humans, domestic pets, other animals and birds sharing our EMR polluted environment have a story to tell. The report of Professor Dr. P. Semm and R Beason, avian brain study. ‘Response of neurons to amplitude modulated microwave RF. ‘contains interesting comments “ Although individual neurons in the zebra finch brain responded to the pulsed RF stimulus, we do not know whether these responses by the nervous system are manifested in the bird’s behavior or its health. ”

Omega see under:
http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/responses_of_neurons_to_amplitude_modulated_microwave_rf.htm


And “Whether similar neuronal responses occur in mammals, including humans, requires further investigation. Borbély and coworkers [3] reported that exposure to a RF signal similar to the one we used influenced sleep and sleep electroencephalogram in humans. Their results and the responses we recorded clearly indicate the potential for effects on the human nervous system.” > [3] Borbély, A. A., Huber, R., Graf, T., Fuchs, B., Gallmann, E., and Achermann, P., Pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic field affects human sleep and sleep electroencephalogram, Neurosci. Lett., 275 (1999) 207-210.

Omega see under:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10580711&dopt=Citation


This immediately calls to mind a case here in Sydney, NSW, Australia, where a large number of caged exotic birds developed uncharacteristic destructive behaviour, which veterinary science could not explain. Most birds refused to breed, the few that did ejected the young from the nest, prematurely. Of two that survived only one was relatively normal, the other had no feathers. Some breeds became aggressive, attacking mates. Canaries were disinclined to sing and their song was limited in range. Most birds molted excessively – recognized as a sure sign of stress.

Our attention was drawn to this case due to the particular location, a suburban residence, 200 metres distance from a large 50Hertz electricity substation, where an analogue mobile phone transmitting antenna had operated from the same site for some time. The birds had obviously tolerated this EMR environment with impunity until about three months after the upgrading of the mobile phone transmitter from analogue to the digital signal, when a dramatic change occurred in their health and behaviour . At the same address two pet dogs refused to sleep in their usual location, and a neighbour’s homing pigeon flock became too disoriented to perform normally.

In another Sydney suburb, soon after a digital mobile phone base station (MBS) was installed on a high rise apartment building where a flock of black crows normally roosted, local residents noticed that the birds became unusually restless and noisy, suddenly vacating the area. Health abnormalities aalso were increasingly noted among local residents who were concerned that the MBS emissions were implicated.

These are not the only cases where uncharacteristic bird behaviour has been reasonably linked with RFR. Two reports of canary and budgerigar breeders linking foot deformaties and ‘curly’ feathers occurring, only after the installation of digital mobile base station antenna nearby, should be noted.

The birds, by their bizarre behaviour appear to have communicated eloquently that a recent environmental change posed a major health hazard to their kind.

In our view Professor Semm’s avian brain study is indeed pertinent to the first case related here.

A study of birds, set up to emulate the real life environment of the caged birds we encountered, might well give meaningful results as to the behaviour and health outcome of birds and other living organisms, including humans, in our environment.

Such research on functioning biological systems other than human should be followed by health studies of the human populations at risk, in the same RFR zones, adding to the valuable studies of Dr Bruce Hocking (Australia) and Professor Santini (France), two such studies that should be used to influence authorities to establish further serious investigation of the health status of people in these high risk environments.

Wild birds can choose their habitat, avoiding risk to their survival, caged birds cannot, nor can the unborn and the very young human child. It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for those dependant on our care.

BIRDS IN NEW ZEALAND DAMAGED

At a bird sanctuary approximately 40 kilometres from Christchurch birds were found to be dying in certain areas of the property Penny Hargreaves (Ouruhia, NZ ) visited the property and was surprised to find strong radiofrequency radiation (RFR) near a wire fence where the birds were found dead and a hedge was dying. Though the property is quite extensive it was only three places the birds were dying. The location was a small lake area surrounded by trees with wire netting on the planks surrounding the water. Dieback was evident on the tops of many of the trees n a clump near the lake/pond.

Penny’s experiences show that where there is metal i.e., tin sheds, fences etc. there are more problems with animals illnesses and deaths and also with human health.

Please see the website:
http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/ouruhia/

THE VALLEY OF OURUHIA NEW ZEALAND.

I, and others have been exposed to emissions from a radio tower which had permission to transmit low levels of AM and in 1990 without permission illegally began transmitting FM. Many people and animals in the area became ill, some died. My family, staff, and animals have all suffered dreadful health problems. I am a public horse trainer and the effects on my horses was catastrophic. Penny Hargreaves For the full story please see the website:

http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/ouruhia/

Source: http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=312

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Regarding the story: Where Have All the Sparrows Gone?

The biophysical effect of microwave radiation on sparrows and other birds is actually quite straightforward: when they they fly through the intense pancake-shaped wavefront emanating horizontally from a cellphone tower, they will be permanently sterilized. They are not killed outright; there are no telltale dead birds to count. They simply will not be able to reproduce for the rest of their lifetimes. This used to happen to servicemen assigned to U.S. radar installations before the problem was understood and restrictions were placed on access to the radar dishes.

Birds just do not know the rules. (Perhaps we can teach them? Perhaps with strobe lights to chase them away?) The probability that a bird will fly into or through this wavefront is quite random, with the chances increased dramatically where there is a concentration of towers. There has been a dramatic decline of all bird populations, with no adequate explanation provided previously, and it mirrors the increase in cellphone towers, .

I had the personal experience of watching a bird build a nest (in the carport of my suburban home) but had no offspring. I obviously cannot know whether this particular bird was sterile, but it is the first time that I have ever seen a nesting failure. I believe this is probably becoming a more common sight.


Jonathan Campbell
Health Consultant
http://www.cqs.com

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New paper on sparrows and electromagnetic radiation

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a779955571~db=all~order=page

We hope we are not teaching 'grandmothers to suck eggs', but so many even educated people are so often unaware the really distinctive feature of microwaves is their part of the electromagnetic, EM, spectrum was formerly totally silent. Throughout our millions of years of evolution. The merest whisper of activity in a truly peaceful zone where all was calm and sensory possibilities wide open.

Now it is howling at billions of times those levels with the busy passage of various pulsing invisible screeching signals, the simple 50 quid electrosmog detector will show you. Throughout nature the previously silent ambience meant all the creatures tuned into it with various receptors went calmly about their business, minding it in their own way. Not now.

Scientific evidence is accumulating from all over, despite the very few actually looking, no funding as usual, plus almost universal dismissal, often contemptuously.

Please examine this new threat which extends, evidence now shows, from man's health all the way to garlic shoots and nematode worms, via birds and amphibians, and probably further.

Examine without the offhand dismissal we feel we received at the Peterborough meeting of English Nature a while back now.

Best intro is probably 'The Boiled Frog Syndrome - Your Health and the Built Environment' by Thomas Saunders ISBN 0-470-84553-8 pub: Wiley-Academy 2002 [ http://tinyurl.com/2nfqrd ]

Dr Robert Becker [ http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Dr+Robert+Becker ] (twice nominated for the Nobel) is fascinating in 'Cross Currents' [ http://omega.twoday.net/stories/2375974/ ] ISBN 0-87477-609-0 if you want to get up to speed.

Rod

ElectroSensitivity-UK
(registered charity 1103018)
Rod Read M.Phil.,(Cantab), Dip Psych Couns., Cert.Ed.director. helping the vulnerable minority reacting to electromagnetic fields, microwaves, RF etc. all 'electrosmog'.

ES-UK Office, Bury Lane, Sutton, Ely, Cambs, CB6 2BB.
Tel: 01353-778151 or at http://www.electrosensitivity.org.uk

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Pulsed microwave radiation and wildlife - Are Cell Phones Wiping Out Sparrows?
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/926007/

Where have our friends the birds gone?
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/3025317/

Birds Harmed by Radio-Frequency Radiation
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/3207068/

Mobile Phones and Vanishing Birds
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/3778251/



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