Information for Tower Operators and Engineers

The communication tower industry has played an active role in reducing bird fatalities by replacing steady-burning lights with flashing ones. Tower operators and engineers can learn more about specific actions they can take to protect birds by consulting the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 report, "Opportunities to Reduce Bird Collisions with Communications Towers While Reducing Tower Lighting Costs."


Which Towers Are Most Dangerous?

Not all communications towers pose equal threats to birds, and basic changes to the most dangerous towers can greatly reduce tower collisions and bird deaths. Those most in need of improvements include:

  • Towers with steady-burning nighttime lights: these lights attract and disorient birds, leading to collisions and bird fatalities. Red lights in particular are dangerous for birds.
  • Towers 300 feet and taller cause significantly more avian fatalities than shorter ones. Likewise, towers supported by guy wires are responsible for more collisions than self-supporting ones.
  • Towers located in areas with high migratory bird concentrations. This is particularly important in areas used by rare birds.
  • Towers located in areas with frequent fog in the spring and fall; foggy conditions tend to increase bird collisions.

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More About Birds and Towers

Check out our online resources to learn more about how you can create a safer environment for birds by reducing communication tower collisions and fatalities.