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Can’t see for looking  

Credit:  Nicky Phillips, The Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au 21 March 2011 ~~

As obvious as it may seem, the main reason birds fly into wind turbines and power lines is because they are not looking where they are going.

A British scientist has found birds become blind to what lies ahead of them when they look down for food or predators.

Our feathered friends are also prone to ”looking but not seeing” when flying in open air space.

The study suggests sound warning signals and markers that make objects more conspicuous could alert birds to obstacles.

To understand why birds continue to hit man-made objects on clear days, ornithologist Graham Martin said it was necessary to take a bird’s eye view of the world, rather than a human perspective.

While all animals share the same planet, the information they extract from it through their senses means they live in quite different worlds, he said.

”Humans see the world as being ‘in front’ and move into it. Birds probably see the world as ‘around them’ and they move through it,” said Professor Martin, who teaches avian sensory science at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Martin’s review article was published in the journal Ibis.

Source:  Nicky Phillips, The Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au 21 March 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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