13. Electro-magnetic disturbances
While there is no evidence to support or suggest that the earth's magnetic fields have any bearing on the navigation system of the racing pigeon there is no conclusive proof that electrical fields do not cause some stress to the birds. Over a period of years there has been a significient increase in microwave activity. This activity has been associated, at times, with difficult races and training tosses. Because of this association it would be unwise to dismiss electrical activity outright. Care should be taken to avoid any situation that would expose the birds to un-necessary risk. Because of the fact that UV-rays can come in waves it is possible that combined with microwaves they may, at times, have an adverse affect on the birds.
This statement may not be accepted by many scientists. If they search the databases of the NOAA in regard to saturday 22nd of august 1998 when the grand national for youngbirds in Holland was flown. During the entire race the K-factor was almost 10, the highest possible. The race was difficult, the first birds came home at lower velocities than were expected. At no time was a difficult race expected, it was in fact expected to be a very fast race. The end result schocked everyone. But, it should be noted that the national Orleans race of 1998 has shown us that racing pigeons during the highest K-factor, under optimal weather circumstances, can find their way home without any problem at all.
It has been proved that power engines produce electro magnetic fields(alternators and generators) and in this way effect the area close to it. The new generation of pigeon transporters all are going to have power engines for the ventilation systems, waterpumps, lighting etc. As soon as a generator or power engine is installed within a pigeon transporter, this generator needs to be insulated. Also the pigeon transporter needs to be grounded in order to disperse the electro magnetic charge. This can be arranged by a small metal strip touching the ground, the same type as is used on cars to prevent car sickness with children. If we don't do this the area where the pigeons are will become charged with static electricity. The longer the trip to the releasepoint takes the more stressed the pigeons will get and this stress situation can effect negatively the energy the pigeons need to navigate.
Copyright 1998. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, in part, in any form or medium, without the express written permission of Steven van Breemen and Hubert Land, is strictly forbidden.