Mobile phone mast blamed for vanishing pigeons

The birds (and people) suffers different threats depending on the habitat that they occupy and of the interaction with other species (especially the human one) that impact directly in their populations. It is probable that the electromagnetic contamination taken place by the phone masts causes the loss of species that use the electromagnetic fields to be guided, as the homing pigeons of the first news of Sweden.

In fact a lot of anecdotic information exists at this respect (See the files for example….). Numerous investigations also confirm that the microwaves affect especially to the nervous, immune and reproductive systems of the birds (and people).

Other factors like the chemical substances or pathogen agents producing of illnesses can be behind the news of the death of more than 10.000 flamingos in África.

Climatic or meteorological changes (behind which the human activities can be also, as the emission of CO2 to the atmosphere) seems the cause of the descent of ducks in USA and Canada.

Lastly the wrong uses of the earth (the intensive agriculture in U.K. and other countries) is the causing of disappearance of species associated to the traditional agriculture that didn't you use chemical products and was respectful with the wild plants and birds.

Best regards
Alfonso Balmori

Mobile phone masts 'confuse pigeons'

Source: Ananova, 2002-02-08

Source URL: http://www.ananova.com/business/story/sm_515942.html

Mobile phone masts are said to be confusing pigeons and preventing them finding their way back to their lofts.

Pigeon fanciers have banded together to help prevent Orange building a mast at Tow Law, County Durham.

Breeder Frank Armstrong claims pigeon fanciers have been losing double the amount of birds they used to since three masts were erected last year. He added: "They are very young these birds, and they go up to fly and fly around and when they are tired they look for home, and they need these instincts then to find home and they just weren't coming home."

There is no proof the masts are to blame but Mr Armstrong says fanciers want no more building until the matter is investigated. "They want to erect another mast, they keep erecting these masts, but we would rather wait until they find out what is really doing it," he added.

Ananova is owned by Orange, the mobile phone division of France Telecom.

Public Weighs in on AWOL Pigeon Mystery

Source: CNN, 1998-10-09

Unable to cite original URL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- John Carter thinks he may have solved the mystery of what happened to some of the 2,200 homing pigeons that vanished during two recent long-distance races along the East Coast. "I was leaving work when I saw these birds in the parking lot," Carter said Thursday after leaving his job in Canton, Ohio. "When I got home, I said, 'Wait a minute, those are some odd-looking pigeons.' I thought maybe they were the missing pigeons."

He may be right. Carter is one of dozens of people across the East who have contacted race organizers and animal control groups to report pigeons they suspect may be the missing birds. One person said she saw 100 of them resting on a ledge of a Philadelphia warehouse. Another woman in Pennsauken, N.J., said she took a pigeon that had been resting in her front yard and put it in a birdcage.

About 1,600 pigeons vanished out of 1,800 competing in a 200-mile race from northern Virginia to Allentown, Pa., on Oct 5. And 600 out of 700 birds were missing after a 150-mile race on the same day from western Pennsylvania to Philadelphia.

Joanne Moore, whose husband, Gary, ran the Pennsylvania race, said her phone has been ringing off the hook at her Phoenixville home, with callers from as far away as Ocala, Fla. "It's doubtful they would go that far; but I've been getting calls all over the place," Moore said.

Homing pigeons find their way using the sun and by using the earth's magnetic field as a compass, experts say. Though they are sleeker and a bit bigger than a city-dwelling pigeon, the only definitive way to identify a homing pigeon is by a colored band around its leg. Ordinarily, the swift birds should have been back in their lofts in a matter of hours. So far, no one knows exactly why the birds veered off course.

Some humans haven't embraced the long-lost birds with open arms. A frail, wayward pigeon recently landed in the backyard of bird-watcher John Rahn's home in Hedgesville, W. Va. "It's eating sunflower seeds and chasing other birds away," he said. "I don't mind it that much, but it's making a bigger mess than the other birds do."

Phone masts blamed for pigeons' lost art

Vivek Chaudhary, chief sports correspondent

Friday January 23, 2004

The Guardian


Homing pigeons excel in the art of endurance while using age-old instincts to make their way home across thousands of miles. But modern technology is being blamed for their demise after claims that mobile phone masts are causing thousands to get lost each year.

According to homing pigeon enthusiasts, powerful electromagnetic microwave radiation from the masts is destroying the birds' sense of direction. Many owners have had to change the route their birds take to fly home, known as the road, to avoid the perils of modern technology.

The British Royal Pigeon Racing Association (BRPRA) is calling for research into the impact of the masts. It also wants them fitted with tracking devices to monitor what happens when they pass the masts.

Delegates at the British homing world show of the year in Blackpool, which took place last week complained that they had lost dozens of homing pigeons over the past few years because of the masts. Anne Pitkeathly, from the Isle of Wight, who has been racing pigeons for the past five years said that the problem with masts had become so severe that she had had to change the road her birds take to fly home. Ms Pitkeathly said: "The route between Cornwall and the island used to pass through Dorset, where there has been a proliferation of masts. In a season I lost 40 birds and had to switch to the Dover south road which has been much better. "I would think that it should be possible to fit trackers to birds... to know exactly if they are put off course by emissions from masts."

Graham Deacon, also from the Isle of Wight, said he would welcome research into the issue. "On one race from Winchester last year I lost more than 80 birds," he said.

Peter Bryant, general manager of the BRPRA, said the organisation had been inundated with complaints about pigeons getting lost because of mobile phone masts. Mr Bryant drew a contrast between the stark dangers faced by pigeons carrying vital messages during the second world war and the risks posed to the birds today. "Their instincts carried them back through hostile fire and they were even parachuted to members of the resistance and made their way back from that," he said. "It would be ironic if they were now the victims of an unseen enemy."

BBC News


Phone masts 'confusing' pigeons


Which way now? Could the pigeon's skills fall foul of new technology? A growing number of homing pigeons are getting lost due to interference from the new "unseen enemy" of mobile phone masts, racing experts claim. The birds' natural instincts are being confused by radiation signals from an increasing number of transmitters, the Royal Pigeon Racing Association said. Racers say anecdotal evidence shows poor returns over the last two years. Pigeons are thought to find their way home using landmarks and the earth's magnetic field. Peter Bryant, of the RPRA, said its Stray Birds Committee had proposed attaching a GPS tracking device to pigeons to investigate the problem.

During the World War II thousands of aircraft carried two pigeons in case the plane was downed. Now they're facing this unseen enemy. Peter Bryant, RPRA But currently the device - which would have to be strapped on like a rucksack - is too heavy for a pigeon to carry. "It's fine with eagles and albatross, but for the poor little pigeons it would hamper their return," said Mr Bryant. 'Stressed' he said it was impossible to estimate how many pigeons were vanishing because of the transmitters. "During the World War II, thousands of aircraft carried two pigeons in case they the plane was downed so they could send messages," he said. "The birds were also parachuted to the Resistance. Now they're facing this unseen enemy in the form of mobile phone masts."

Pigeon fancier Anne Pitkeathly, 50, from the Isle of Wight, said she was losing more and more birds. "When I started I was told I would lose baby birds but never the big ones. "A lot of people think it's mobile phone masts." She claimed one of her pigeons had recently reacted badly after being near a mast, saying it was "stressed" and "trying to be sick". Previous research by German scientists in 1999 suggested that short wave radiation had an "undefined negative" impact on homing pigeons. It was found that exposed birds took longer to get home, flew at lower levels and were reluctant to go near transmitters. Between 50,000 to 60,000 pigeons are estimated to have gone missing last year due to problems such as bird of prey attacks and poor weather, the RPRA said.

Mobile phone mast blamed for vanishing pigeons


Wearden ZDNet UK September 03, 2001, 15:48 GMT

Tell us your opinion Could a mobile phone mast damage a bird's sense of direction? One UK pigeon fancier thinks so -- and he's planning legal action

A mobile phone mast is being blamed for the disappearance of over 50 racing pigeons. Monday's edition of The Times reports that pigeon fancier David Blain has lost two-thirds of his birds since the mast was build next to his farm. He believes that emissions from the mast are responsible for damaging the birds' homing instincts. Pigeons have been kept at the family farm for over 40 years, and Blain insists this is the first time so many birds have been lost. He, along with hundreds of fellow breeders, is reported to be close to taking legal action again the mobile phone companies -- who consistently deny that emissions from their equipment are harmful.

A representative of the Mobile and Telecoms Advisory Group told The Times that there was no evidence that emissions from mobile phone masts could have a damaging effect on animals or birds, but added that more research might be done into the issue in the future. This case isn't the first time that mobile phone masts have been accused of affecting birds. Recent research by the Swiss Bird Study Organisation found that racing pigeons got confused near mobile masts, and also flew much lower than normal.



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