In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

SoS- Save our swans

Posted by seumasach on October 4, 2010

Martin Weatheral

Weep News

4th October, 2010

The Swans of Stratford, Ontario, are loved and admired by residents and visitors alike.

This spring, our swan ‘Angela’ was killed while nesting on her eggs. This was a shocking case of cruelty that caused revulsion in our community and national media attention.

During the cold Canadian winter, when wild swans would normally fly south to warmer climes, the swans of Stratford are kept in fenced off ‘winter quarters’. Until this year the swans were quite safe at this location, they have an artificial pond and housing to protect them from the extreme cold.

Festival Hydro, which is owned by the City of Stratford and which Mayor Dan Mathieson is a Director, has recently installed a powerful Wi Fi and smart meter router very close to the swans winter quarters. This means that the swans will be subjected to powerful microwave radiation, twenty-four hours a day. A more thoughtless and harmful location in Stratford, could probably not be found. The radiation from these dangerous devices threatens the health and lives of these beautiful birds. They are likely to suffer extreme stress and may develop life-threatening illnesses.

Exposing the entire flock of swans to strong microwave radiation, twenty-four hours a day, while they are caged and unable to get away, is cruelty. This may be worse than the terrible fate of Angela.

Scientific studies on birds that have been exposed to microwave radiation have shown significant harm to them. In cities around the world, sparrow populations (which managed to survive smog and industrialisation, have been decimated since microwave radiation became widely used. Storks suffered changes in reproduction abilities. 
Scientific peer reviewed and archived laboratory controlled studies done by the National Research Centre of Canada demonstrate conclusively the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation on living systems. These studies are available through the NRC archives.

1. Extract from LTR-CS-113 by Dr J Bigu, 1973, titled:
“Interaction of electromagnetic fields and living systems with special reference to birds.”

2. Extract from LTR-CS-18 by Dr J A Tanner, 1969, titled:
“Effects of microwave radiation on Parakeets in Flight”

3. Extract from LTR-CS-89 by Dr. J A Tanner, 1973, co-authored by Dr. Romero-Sierra, Dept of Anatomy, Queens’ University, Kingston, Ont., titled;
“Bird Feathers as Dialectic Receptors of Microwave Radiation.”

Two videos have been placed on YouTube to document the dangers that the Stratford swans face. The first video was made in the spring of 2010, it shows Stratford swans inside their winter quarters. They are seen, enjoying the spring weather and swimming in their pond.


The second video was made in the summer of 2010 after Festival Hydro installed a powerful Wi Fi router on a mast, within a few metres of the swans winter quarters. At this time the swans are still living on Lake Victoria and the compound is empty except some boxes of flowers being stored in the dry pond. A radio frequency meter is used to show the constant strong levels of microwave radiation being emitted by the WiFi routers. This indicates the levels of radiation that the swans will be subjected to, when they are returned to this enclosure for the winter. The sound feature of the radio frequency meter gives you a perspective of the power and frequencies being emitted from the router.


Please write to Festival Hydro and Stratford Council, to voice your disapproval for this situation and to make sure that the swans are kept safe during the winter.

An early warning?

In 1956 a military radar engineer working on the Sussex Downs witness first hand the effect of 3GHz microwave radiation on migrating birds. Before leaving UK shores for other destinations, the birds would gather at high altitude, between 3 to 10 thousand feet, spend some time circling chosen landmarks for perhaps 20 minutes, then disperse. This was a well-known and documented phenomenon amongst technical personnel at coastal radar stations.

One day, while testing a new form of radar with a very fast rise time and very short duration pulse (very much like pulses now used in digital communication systems) he noticed the echoes from the flock of birds (mainly swifts and house martins) suddenly disappear from all their radar displays. Some time later they had reports from veterinary sources and other concerned parties that thousands of birds had been found either dead or dying, spread over a wide area.

The fatalities, it seems, only occurred with the then ‘new’ radars being rapidly installed because of the Cold War situation with East Germany and the USSR. The specific frequencies and pulse widths in use then are no longer used – at least not by the military. However, what is of great concern is that they are being used by the mobile phone industry (and Wi Fi).

Research and further information on birds and microwave radiation can be found at these links:

Each spring there is a swan parade when the swans walk from their winter quarters, down to their summer home Lake Victoria, accompanied by the Stratford Pipe Band .

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