A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

birds: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

January 16, 2015

“Evidence for Geomagnetic Imprinting and Magnetic Navigation in the Natal Homing of Sea Turtles,” Current Biology, February 2, 2015.

“[O]ur results provide the strongest evidence to date that sea turtles find their nesting areas at least in part by navigating to unique magnetic signatures along the coast.…These findings…suggest that similar mechanisms underlie natal homing in diverse long-distance migrants such as fishes, birds and mammals.” Open access.

January 7, 2015

“Magnetoreception in Birds: The Effect of RF Fields,” Journal of the Royal Society Interface, posted online December 24, 2014.

“RF fields appear to affect magnetoreception only as long as they are present—their disruptive effect appears to be gone when they are no longer applied, without lasting after-effects.” From the Wiltschko-Ritz team. Open access.

May 7, 2014

“Anthropogenic EM Noise Disrupts Magnetic Compass Orientation in a Migratory Bird,” Nature, May 8, 2014.

By a group at Germany’s University of Oldenburg. “[U]sing a double-blinded protocol we have documented a clear and reproducible effect on a biological system of anthropogenic EM fields much weaker than the current ICNIRP guidelines.” With an accompanying comment by Joe Kirschvink of CalTech: The authors “demonstrate convincingly that migrating European robins stop using their magnetic compasses in the presence of extraordinarily weak, RF EM ‘noise’” in the 20 kHz-5 MHz frequency range (includes AM radio frequencies). See coverage of Nature, Science, and the Washington Post —and this comment from DARPA.

September 26, 2007

Birds may actually be able to "see" a magnetic field. This is the fascinating and surprising conclusion of a group of German scientists who have been studying migratory birds. Not everyone is yet convinced that garden warblers can visualize the geomagnetic field (see today's news item on Nature.com), but the new German paper reminds us how little about we know about how living systems interact with electromagnetic signals.

May 14, 2004

Very weak radiation can have a profound influence on a robin’s magnetic compass. A group led by Prof. Thorsten Ritz has shown that 7 MHz signals of less than 100 nanowatts per square centimeter can disorient the bird’s migratory flight. The new findings appear in the May 13 issue of Nature.

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