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[TowerTalk] birds and towers

To: "towertalk reflector" <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] birds and towers
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 16:30:08 -0400
List-post: <>
When this subject has come up before I've commented that contrary to being 
hazards, towers are useful "structure" in the bird's world, just like old 
tires, ships, etc. intentionally dropped into fish habitat to create 
"artificial reefs" and "structure" that shelter the fish.  When you snorkel or 
scuba dive you notice the fish cluster around underwater objects.  It's the 
same with birds.  Predators favor high perches and our towers are often higher 
than the trees so that's where predator birds perch.  Other birds prefer 
perches of a particular height above ground or diameter that is comfortable for 
their claws to grasp.  Tower rungs and guy wires often offer something very 
attractive to them.  Especially slanting guy wires give the bird a choice of 
height above ground.  You will notice flycatchers, bluebirds, etc. will have a 
favorite height where you will usually find them, as they watch for insects.

This applies to other "structure" enhancements as well -- add a hedgerow 
through the middle of a bare field and you will increase the number and variety 
of birds using the habitat, though some species do prefer "wide open spaces" 
(e.g. geese).

Like K1TTT commented, the number of birds killed by running into glass windows 
must be many, many times that of "tower kills."  For one thing, there are many, 
many times more houses and buildings than there are antenna towers.  Second, 
the hazard of a glass window that the birds often fail to see until they slam 
into it is inherently greater than any hazard posed by antenna towers.

Taken to the extreme that some no doubt would take it, any object is a hazard, 
not only to birds but to people and other animals.  Any object can be run into 
by something.  Trees are hazards to birds too -- they can be slammed into by 
the out-of-control bird and they offer hiding places for bird predators (other 
birds as often as not), etc.  Singling antenna towers out as particular hazards 
is foolish.

73 - Rich, KE3Q

See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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