Towers and Birds

Hey, this is actually some encouraging news about a federal ruling on towers from the LA Times:

WASHINGTON -- When considering new communications towers, a federal court ruled Tuesday, officials need to consider whether they pose safety risks -- to birds.

The Federal Communications Commission must study the effect of rapidly sprouting communications towers on migratory birds and give the public a chance to request environmental reviews on new tower applications, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that millions of warblers, thrushes and other birds die each year because continuously burning lights atop those towers can disorient them in bad weather.

The 2-1 decision affects only towers along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, a major route for migrating birds.

But environmentalists hope the ruling will spur the FCC to approve proposed rules that would mandate white strobe lights on new towers nationwide. Studies have shown that those lights aren't as disorienting to birds and could cut deaths by 70%.

Read the rest of the story here.