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We have rescued a small pigeon female and now it is part of the family. She is mostly residing in a large enclosed balcony where I have also placed an IP camera.

Several times, I have seen her sleeping or just sitting exactly near the IP camera (she tried to stay on top of it, but it's not that comfy).

Question: is it safe to stay for many hours exactly near the camera?

For a technical perspective, I see two possible problems:

- IR radiation - this is emitted by the camera when outside light dims and night mode is toggled.

- Electromagnetic radiation - the camera communicates with the router using wireless.

However, these seem very small when compared to the electromagnetism generated by medium voltage lines, on top of which birds can be seen).

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Unless you're really scared by electrosmog, you shouldn't have to worry too much about this. It's a cool buzz word and you can sell protection, counseling, etc. but in the end it's not really problematic, once you look at the bigger picture.

IR radiation

Infrared radiation is essentially just light/heat emitted that you can't see. There's no real harm being exposed to it (in contrast to ultraviolet light/UV). That tiny camera won't emit enough to roast anything. Any artificial light source would most likely emit more UV / IR light and still cause no problems, since the amounts may be ignored compared to natural sunlight.

Electromagnetic radiation

Similar here, I wouldn't worry too much about it. There's far too less energy involved to cause any measurable harm. Plus it's very likely other WiFi devices of you or your neighbours are causing a lot more "electrosmog" than that one IP camera. In addition, WiFi isn't really powerful compared to wider range technology like mobile phones. Science Blogs.com did the math and in short the energy levels involved are far too low to change or damage DNA no matter the distance. Remember there are even implants like pacemakers utilizing wireless communication and wireless charging. You'd be rather not wise to use something you don't consider safe.

Voltage lines

While people can be sensitive to these, power in these lines runs typically at 50 or 60 Hz and as such won't really be able to penetrate anything (including skin) in significant orders. To quote a source, I've googled and found the book Physical and Biological Hazards of the Workplace, page 219, citing home wiring to have an electric field of around 1-10 V/m and a magnetic field of 1-5 mG. Don't worry too much about the units. The important fact here is the natural exposure caused by the Earth itself: 120 V/m and 450 mG. As you can see, the added radiation is typically below 1% of the natural exposure, and as such usually something to ignore (unless you're really sensitive to the frequency).


Besides all that, maybe just offer the pigeon something more comfortable somewhere else, especially if it has problems properly sitting on there?

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  • Thanks for covering all aspects of the question. The pigeon has several favorite places to sit, so sitting next to the camera only happens from time to time and purely out of her will :). I am not worrying about he electrosmog (e.g. I understand that GSM antenna can be dangerous if sitting close to them, but also understand that virtually all devices emit much less energy, so it's rather safe next to them) – Alexei Jan 8 '17 at 9:52

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