US Department of the Interior warns: communication towers threaten birds

Bald Eaglesh In a letter about a new nation wide wi-fi deployment (called *FirstNet), the US Department of the Interior states the wireless proposal threatens birds, and is not consistent with current information and laws that protect birds.  They called for an environmental review.

hTwo  hundred forty one bird species are at mortality risk from both tower collisions and from exposure to the radiation towers emit.  This includes birds that are endangered or threatened, Birds of Conservation Concern, migratory birds, and eagles.  They estimate up to 6.8 million bird deaths a year may result from collisions with towers.

hhStudies of radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death.  Birds studied included House Sparrows, White Storks, Collared Doves, and other species.  Studies in laboratories of chick embryos documented heart attacks and death.

hIn their letter, The Dept of the Interior criticizes the FCC’s radiation safety guidelines stating,“the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.”

For more information see Dept of Interior letter and background:

*In 2010 President Obama called for a new nationwide wireless network.  FirstNet is that broadband initiative. See background proposal and More info on FirstNet. 

“The world is going wireless and we must not fall behind. ” President Barack Obama

See this website for a compilation of studies on effects on wildlife

21 thoughts on “US Department of the Interior warns: communication towers threaten birds”

  1. Not only EMFs, but fireworks! We’ve enjoyed listening to robins sing morning and evening for 60+ years. However, after this last July 4th “celebration,” which seemed more like an angst-laden violent outbreak of extremely loud and unprecedented hatred and rebellion tantamount to a war, we haven’t heard ANY robins at all. It took the few remaining doves more than 30 days to reappear, and the chickadees at least two months to become visible once more; and other species. It’s not only our dogs that have detested the cacaphony.

  2. Since installing HughesNet 2G and 5G in my home a few months ago all my backyard birds have disappeared. I even put in new feeder‘s and fresh food and it rots in the feeders.
    That area is 30 or 40 feet from the Wi-Fi router and so you would think that distance would be sufficient due to the radiation fall off by the square of the distance. Obviously the birds do not like this form of radiation and are staying away. What to say about the router being only 8 feet from my couch. – very worried!

  3. A cell tower was built near our house a few years ago. My wife can hear sounds coming from the tower that no one else can hear. She sometimes walks the floor and cries because the ‘noise’ she hears is so intense and irritating. She also can feel a magnetic field around our house. Usually bumble bees are all over my front porch but this year most only crawled out their wooden den and died. I haven’t even seen a honeybee this year and only a few butterflies. The house wrens, usually in good numbers, have disappeared.
    A cardinal nest in our front yard rose bush was the place of birth of three baby birds. They died in the nest when about half grown. I had to take down the bird feeder because it had so few visitors. Migratory cranes have circled the tower and appeared to be confused until they got away from the vicinity of the tower, then they resumed their normal flight pattern.
    I have contacted the FCC and EPA about the issue and so far they haven’t done anything.

  4. My birds have all left since installation of a “smart” meter — really, shouldn’t it be more appropriately named. Several families of birds used to live in a flowering cherry outside my bedroom window and it was glorious in the morning to hear all the songs/activity. It’s dead quiet and the seed in my feeders has been abandoned. I’m heartsick and grieving for the beauty and simplicity which is no longer valued or nurtured in this world.

  5. I live in a small town on the gulf of mexico. I can’t find any sparrows anywhere in my area. I can’t see nor hear any Mockingbirds singing or any other song bird. I very few birds coming to my 4 feeders. I don’t see early morning flocks of anything really..some crows. I don’t hear birds singing in the mornings. I see few Cardinals. I’ve heard a Blue Jay but I haven’t actually seen it. All of these birds use to be in my back yard and they’ve all but disappeared. I counted the birds coming to my feeders this morning from 7am-8am. I counted 14 birds. A few years ago there would have been so many back there you couldn’t keep count. I don’t see birds in the parking lots anymore hunting bugs on vehicles. I don’t see the sparrows getting a drink from the vehicles AC drip line. Except for some crows and buzzards, I don’t see birds sitting on the high-line wires. We have an issue that is being ignored.

  6. The WHO classifies RF that cell towers and cell phones emit in the same category as DDT, lead and asbestos- as a possible carcinogen. The safety guidelines are set very high, so most cell towers RF will fall under that, but that’s no guarantee of safety, and there’s no guidelines for children.

  7. People are now linking everything that’s going wrong with cell towers and cell phones! This is absurd! Cell towers are NOT harmful to human health, many experts from WHO themselves have said this! Also, the state of Kerala in India tested its cell towers and gave a clean chit to them, this must mean something! Read the article:

  8. YES! We need to take steps to decommission towers, restore the analog meters, and help people recognize the need to use wired and corded connections, and unplug the wireless. President Obama must wake up to the need to use wired internet and stop glorifying wireless.

  9. The standards must be changed!!! They are based on thermal heating alone, and not biological responses. Communication companies are hiding behind the “contrived ignorance” of these outdated and inappropriate standards to quite literally get away with murder not only of birds, but humans are also sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. Thousands of biological studies exist showing health effects of animals and humans. Not only communication companies are adding to the problem , but power companies are also adding to the electrosmog with smart meters on your home that broadcast 24/7. So if you value birds, and your own health let’s get rid of the electrosmog!

  10. So after the birds are gone should we have our cell phones sing to us? Let’s play smart and take care of our birds. Thanks, Joel

  11. I began to notice in 2009 that the songbirds I fed were no longer coming to my yard. Only the larger birds like robins frequented and they too were fewer in number. Now I know that beginning 2009 and on our city has been installing new cell towers, antennas, power line communication, and high frequency antennas and cameras on every street light.

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