The Chernobyl radiation disaster was horrific, but apparently not for birds. Birds have been inhabiting the exclusion zone for years and have adjusted, even benefitted, from the radiation exposure. Alfred Hitchcock would be disappointed in these birds for not using the radiation enhancement for evil.

In the past, wildlife studies at Chernobyl showed the depletion of antioxidants and increased oxidative damage. Normally radiation produces genetic damage, but recent studies on over sixteen species of birds showed the opposite.

After taking blood and feather samples, the results showed an overall increase in body condition and antioxidant levels, while oxidative stress and DNA damage decreased. This was only true for the smaller birds. Large birds, which produce higher amounts of pheomelanin, had poorer health and decreased glutathione levels, and the oxidative stress and DNA damage increased. These birds had large amounts of pink pigment in their feathers.

The majority of the lab results showed that animals, and occasionally humans, can adapt to radiation. This study proved that wild animals can survive the damage of ionizing radiation, and build a resistance to higher amounts of radiation. Know more.