Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried a prominent article about accidental bird deaths caused by communications towers. According to the article, a whopping 6.8 million birds are accidentally killed by flying into these towers (the article did not specify if bird suicides were included or not). These 6.8 million birds are usually attacked – apparently without provocation – by these aggressive and belligerent towers under the cover of darkness by their illuminated red lights.
As previously mentioned, 6.8 million birds are killed by these towers, yet that is only a tiny fraction of the 2.38 BILLION accidental bird deaths a year. Bird deaths by communication towers account for a minuscule 0.286% of accidental bird deaths a year. If you add up all the bird deaths from airplanes, wind turbines, communications towers, automobiles, pesticides, hunters, and power lines, it still doesn’t even come close to the most notorious, “accidental” bird killers, cats and buildings (and windows), which kill a combined 2 billion birds annually.
Conservationists and biologists are calling for the lights on these communications towers to be turned off at night to halt the ornithocide. The conservationists and biologists are also quick to point out the potential saved energy costs by turning off these lights.
That environmental activists are perennially hostile to energy development due to the wildlife impacts on birds, lizards, toads, and all other species of airborne and earthbound critters appears more ridiculous given today’s revelation by the Wall Street Journal.
Cats and windows (even energy efficient windows recently installed as part of the President’s stimulus package) are the unmatched killers of nature’s aviators. One wonders when the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council will soon crank up efforts to oppose the American Association of Cat Fanciers, or the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Union, each of which is apparently complicit in a billion bird murders every year. In fact, they might want to step up efforts to increase the criminal penalties for cat hoarders while they’re at it.