Reply To: Birds missing in Canada and New Zealand – 05/02/2006

November 23, 2013 at 11:31 pm #1198

from M.Davis – 05/02/2006

Thank you for this info, Bridget. It’s a subject, the
sparrows, that has been baffling me for a while now.
As I’ve stated before I may be somewhat atypical of
most Americans. I’ve lived my entire 50 plus years in
a 100 mile radius in Kansas except for about 6 years
spent in Nebraska and Iowa. When I was growing up
large flocks of house sparrows were the norm,
everywhere. Chances were if you saw a bird, it was an
English house sparrow.

Then it began occurring to me in the early 80s that
they were suddenly quite rare. The starling population
suddenly exploded and many of us assumed that the
pressure of starling overpopulation had driven the
sparrows off. Lately I’ve begun to question that since
the flocks of starlings I’ve been seeing lately are
much smaller. I’ve also noticed lately that the
meadowlarks seem to be much fewer also. The only birds
that seem to be thriving in the area are crows and for
some reason I’ve been encountering more cardinals in
the last 3 years than I’m accustomed to seeing. I’ve
also noticed this summer a seeming abundance of turkey
vultures which are fairly common, but they seem to be
hunting much closer to town this year.

I had an odd experience in the mid 80s. I was working
at the time for a Japanese motorcycle dealership as a
technician. One of the technical newsletters had an
odd story in it about a customers motorcycle that was
behaving very strangely. It was a large touring model
that he rode to and from work every chance he could,
following a circular route. The bike would run
flawlessly to work and would suddenly stop like the
ignition switch was turned off, in the same spot every
day, on the trip home. The local dealership would
trailer it in to the shop and it would start

The entire electrical system was run through
diagnostics, and eventually every component was
replaced. The bike still did the same thing on the
return trip from work for the customer, stopping in
exactly the same place every evening. The manufacturer
finally sent out a technical team and they narrowed it
down to something in the environment (obviously). The
machine would stop whenever it was driven by a
particular alleyway, which the team noted had a
microwave communications tower two blocks away. The
tower was broadcasting a frequency, funneled up the
alley, that was tripping the electronic ignition
module and effectively causing it to switch off. If
these towers can broadcast a signal that can disrupt
the microchips in a controller circuit then it stands
to reason they have enough power to potentially effect
organic matter.