Here’s why birds collide with man-made objectsMarch 17th, 2011 - 4:09 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, March 17 (ANI): Wonder why many species of bird are prone to colliding with large man-made objects? A new study outlines a new approach to understand how birds see the world and why they find pylons and turbines so hard to avoid.
Research suggests that bird mortality caused by collisions with human artifacts is the largest unintended human cause of avian fatalities worldwide.
“From a human perspective it appears very odd that birds so often collide with large objects as if they don’t see them. It is widely held that flight in birds is primarily controlled by vision, an idea captured by the phrase ‘a bird is a wing guided by an eye”, said Graham Martin from Birmingham University.
“However birds live in a different visual world to humans,” said Martin.
To get a clearer understanding of how birds view the world, Martin turned to sensory ecology, a field of study, which investigates how sensory information underlies an animal’s behaviour, and it’s interactions with the environment.
The research revealed that a subtle set of interrelationships exists between a bird’s visual capacities, the interpretation of sensory information and the behaviour of birds when flying in open airspace.
“When in flight, birds may turn their heads to look down, either with the binocular field or with the lateral part of an eye’s visual field,” said Martin.
“Such behaviour results in certain species being at least temporarily blind in the direction of travel.”
Martin also explored how avian frontal vision is tuned for the detection of movement, rather than spatial detail. When a bird is hunting this detection may be more important than simply looking ahead into open airspace.
Birds also have a restricted range of flight speeds, for many birds it is simply impossible for them to fly slowly, making it difficult to adjust the rate of information they gain if visibility is reduced by rain, mist or low level lights.
A new study has been published in IBIS. (ANI)
- Air Force scientists study flying insects' altitude control mechanisms - Dec 08, 2010
- Amazing retina explains birds' unparalleled vision - Jun 24, 2011
- Birds could better pilot-less aircraft - Oct 29, 2011
- Windows killing 22 million birds in Canada - Sep 17, 2012
- Birds recognize human faces, voices - Jun 25, 2012
- Alert crabs outwit predatory birds - Apr 19, 2011
- Migratory birds declining, government monitoring habitat - Nov 30, 2011
- Climate change could push up risk of avian flu - Aug 30, 2012
- Environment ministry launches portal on biodiversity - Dec 14, 2010
- Mammals running speed determines eye size - May 03, 2012
- Biological basis of brain's ability for rapid adaptation revealed - Nov 23, 2010
- What rat whiskers can tell us about the sense of touch - Feb 19, 2011
- Why birds fly into power lines - Nov 03, 2010
- Avian flu virus wiping out baby seals - Aug 01, 2012
- Mosquitoes sniff out victims for blood - Jul 03, 2012
Tags: bird mortality, birds, birmingham university, collisions, flight speeds, fly, human artifacts, human perspective, interrelationships, march 17, new approach, open airspace, phrase, pylons, rain, sensory ecology, spatial detail, turbines, visibility