Because birds see differently than people, changes to aircraft lighting systems have been proposed as a way to help birds avoid aircraft. Collaborative studies between WS and Purdue University scientists have shown one model bird species— the brown-headed cowbird (pictured)— avoids red (630 nm) and blue (470 nm) LED lights with high chromatic contrast versus other light wavelengths. Ongoing research with additional bird species will identify other light characteristics that enhance bird avoidance of aircraft and will lead to recommendations for aircraft lighting to reduce strikes.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service