Electronics 'affect bird navigation' 電子設備影響鳥兒的方向感

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Image caption European robins may be thrown off course by radio waves

據一項研究調查顯示電子產品可能對某些鳥類的遷徙產生影響。一組德國科研人員發現由電子設備和廣播信號製造的電磁場會影響鳥類的方向感。這項研究發表在《自然》雜誌上。請聽 BBC Rebecca Morelle 發回的報道。

Some birds perform remarkable feats of navigation, migrating halfway around the world. And it』s thought that a built-in compass, which senses the Earth's magnetic field, helps them to find their way.

But this latest study suggests that low frequency waves produced by devices plugged into the mains electricity, could be interfering with this 'inner satnav'. Scientists found that migratory birds exposed to this electromagnetic noise lost all sense of direction. But when the field was blocked out, they found their bearings again.

Researchers believe electrical interference could be a particular problem when birds fly over urban areas. They think the birds are forced to switch to back-up navigational systems, staying on course using the sun and stars instead.