– Silent Spring comes to Fukushima (Fukushima Diary, June 26, 2012)
– Muttonbirds affected by Fukushima – researcher (New Zealand Herald, April 30, 2012):
The meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may be responsible for a decline in New Zealand’s muttonbird population.
A Department of Conservation study found only two-thirds of birds returned to an area near Auckland, after spending the northern summer in Japan – some only 20km from the plant, which was crippled in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March last year.
– How contaminated a bird is in Fukushima (Fukushima Diary, April 29, 2012):
Prof. Mori of Tokyo university took a picture of a bush warbler in Fukushima by autoradiography.
It took one month to capture the radiation from cesium 137.
The bush warbler was found dead in Iidate mura last December.
This photo was taken from the stomach of the bird. Black spots in the wing parts show radioactive particles stuck to the wings.
The ones in the body parts show the radioactive particles taken into the body.
Biological concentration is assumed to have happened through contaminated worms.
A year after Fukushima, the government has asked residents to bury radiated soil in their own backyards. But how dangerous is the dirt and where should it go? NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel reports.
– Fewer female birds after Chernobyl, study finds; same true at Fukushima? (MSNBC, April 19, 2012):
Scientists are focusing on Japan’s Fukushima area after a study published this week found an alarming development at another nuclear disaster site — Chernobyl.
The proportion of female birds has fallen off since the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl, the study found, and that appears to be causing male birds to increase their chirping in efforts to find a mate.
“The Chernobyl zone is a population sink, or an ecological trap, that brings in new birds each year but these birds suffer lower survival,” co-author Tim Mousseau, a University of South Carolina biologist, told msnbc.com.
“In other words,” he said, “the Chernobyl zone is not an eden for wildlife” as some have claimed.
Mousseau, who’s leading a team along with Anders Pape Moller of the University of Paris-Sud, is now in the Fukushima area preparing to test birds there for radioactivity from the nuclear reactors hit by the tsunami after the March 11, 2011, earthquake.
NBC’s Richard Engel visits the exclusion zone surrounding Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
“We will be placing small dosimeters on birds and measuring body content of radionuclides,” he said. That will also be done this summer around Ukraine’s Chernobyl area, where earlier testing focused on counting birds.
For the Chernobyl study “we collected 1,080 birds using mist nets in forested areas that were highly contaminated but also in areas that were effectively ‘clean’ and sites in between,” Mousseau explained.
“In the more contaminated areas, most birds were yearlings, suggesting that survival rates were significantly lower in these areas than in clean ones.”
– Bird numbers plummet around stricken Fukushima plant (The Independent, Feb. 3, 2012):
Researchers working around Japan’s disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant say bird populations there have begun to dwindle, in what may be a chilling harbinger of the impact of radioactive fallout on local life.
In the first major study of the impact of the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, the researchers, from Japan, the US and Denmark, said their analysis of 14 species of bird common to Fukushima and Chernobyl, the Ukrainian city which suffered a similar nuclear meltdown, showed the effect on abundance is worse in the Japanese disaster zone.
– Video of Birds That Don’t Fly, in June 2011 Somewhere in Fukushima (Ex-SKF, Jan. 4, 2012):
A video posted by a resident somewhere in Fukushima Prefecture in June last year shows two birds in his/her front garden unable or unwilling to fly even when approached by a human.
The video was uploaded by MAYODORA in June 2011; it was posted at GeorgeBowWow’s blog on December 23, 2011 (his blog is in Japanese only). GeorgeBowWow thinks the birds may be affected by radiation. The bird (bulbul) in the beginning of the video dropped from the persimmon tree, MAYODORA writes in the Youtube description of the video. MAYODORA says he/she measured radiation on the bird with his/her survey meterand it was rather high.
No information as to what happened to those birds afterwards.
Clearly the comment section of the video on Youtube was trashed, and commenting has been disabled.
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) — Japan is culling about 410,000 chickens at a farm in the southern prefecture of Miyazaki as avian influenza spreads to the nation’s second-biggest growing region for poultry.
The government is taking measures to contain the disease as the H5 flu virus has been detected in chickens found dead in the farm in Shintomi town, about 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) from where the first flu outbreak this year was confirmed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Officials in Miyazaki culled more than 10,000 chickens on Jan. 22 after six out of 36 chickens found dead at a separate farm tested positive for influenza.
Added: 22. January 2011
Little penguins are dying in their hundreds, leading conservationists to fear they are starving as a result of the La Nina weather system.
Other seabirds are washing up dead on beaches, raising concerns that species could become extinct if climate change causes extreme weather events to become more frequent.
At Wellington Zoo, two starving little blue penguin chicks have been brought in this week. One died on Wednesday and the other, found at Lyall Bay, was hanging on to life yesterday.
The zoo’s veterinary science manager, Lisa Argilla, said petrels were also starving around Wellington’s south coast, and five shags had been brought in this month. “They’re unable to find enough food. We’ve had a lot of starvations and a lot of mortalities.”
At Banks Peninsula, hundreds of little white-flippered penguin chicks have died of starvation, according to Shireen Helps, who has been caring for the colony on her property for about 25 years.
A massive wild bird kill is reported from a Beijing suburb.
Dozens of dead blackbirds, mallards and magpies have been found along the banks of the Xiaojing River, according to the Huang’jiu Ribao newspaper.
A staff member of a centre for hygiene and epidemiological control does not rule out that the birds have died of starvation and unfavourable weather conditions.
DACONO, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado is now on the list of states where birds are mysteriously dying.
CBS4 You Reporter Stacia Shane sent in pictures of dozens of dead birds she found on I-25.
Founder of sanctuary treating the birds blames chemicals in the water.
Hundreds of Eastern brown pelicans, some with missing wings and frostbite, have been injured or killed in the St. Johns River the past couple of weeks in the Mayport area.
The exact reason is unknown but the cold weather could have caused hypothermia when the birds landed in the water. The pelicans have been losing a protective coating they have on their body to shield their feathers from becoming saturated by water.
Cindy Mosling, co-founder of the Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary on Big Talbot Island, thinks chemicals in the water could be the culprit.
Hey, they just forgot to migrate!
It is estimated that more than 200 dead starlings were found in downtown Yankton Monday. However, it is not believed the deaths pose a threat to humans.
Yankton Animal Control Officer Lisa Brasel estimated that she collected 200 starlings Monday, and employees of the city Parks and Recreation Department were also on the scene picking up deceased birds. The total number of corpses gathered up by city employees has not yet been compiled.
“I talked to one of the local vets, and they said there is nothing wrong (with the birds),” said Brasel, who took specimens to a veterinary office. “They just didn’t migrate and are dying. (The next question of a scientist should have been: Is there something wrong with the earth’s magnetic field or why else should birds ‘forget’ to migrate?) I was going to call the South Dakota Department of Health to see what they have to say about it, but they are closed today (because of Martin Luther King Day).”
The birds were found around trees on the north side of Riverside Park, as well as on the north side of Second Street between Capitol and Pine streets.
Authorities in Romania say dozens of starlings died of alcohol poisoning, not avian flu as feared.
Romeu Lazar, the executive director of the veterinary health department in the Black Sea port of Constanta said on Wednesday a post-mortem revealed the birds ate grape residue that had fermented and their bodies could not handle the alcohol.
He says they did not have avian flu, which hit the area several years ago.
– Flying drunk proves fatal for bird flock (Reuters)
Constanta residents found dozens of dead birds on the outskirts of the city last week. The reports come as other, larger bird deaths were reported in the United States and elsewhere.
Scientists say mass deaths of wildlife happen regularly, and are usually unrelated and unreported. (SURE!!!)
Another mass death: Thousands of gizzard shad fish have washed up on banks of Chicago’s harbours
Thousands of gizzard shad fish have been washed up on Chicago’s harbours while more than 100 dead birds have been found clustered on a California highway.
The two instances appear to be a continuation of the strange mass animal deaths that have struck in the past fortnight – in America and elsewhere.
However Lake Michigan Program biologist Dan Makauskas said that gizzard shad are not a very tough variety of fish and are more sensitive to drops in oxygen levels than most fish.
Mr Makauskas suggested that the young fish may not have built up enough reserves to withstand the early onslaught of extreme cold that hit the area.
Canada geese and mallard ducks have eaten many of the dead fish.
Meanwhile, California wildlife officials are attempting to work out what caused the death of more than 100 birds found clustered together just off Highway 101.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that California Highway Patrol officers found the dead birds near the roadway on Saturday and called in the state Department of Fish and Game to investigate.
The officers who found the birds described them as small with brown and black feathers.
They were intact and had not been shot.
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:44 AM on 12th January 2011
Full article: Daily Mail
And the explanations get better and better.
All the birds falling out of the sky had clear signs of trauma too.
ATHENS, AL — Wednesday morning, we got a handful of emails and phone calls from viewers who said there appeared to be a massive bird kill on the side of Interstate 65 in Limestone County. That’s exactly what we found when we got there.
Just south of Athens, near mile marker 347, there were around 300 dead blackbirds just off the side of the northbound lanes.
The viewers who called us said the birds seemed to just fall from the sky, but we spoke to a wildlife biologist at the scene who says there is an explanation for what happened.
“What it appears to us right now is that the birds were feeding alongside the road,” said Mitchell Marks. “The flock flushed, flew out into a vehicle and we’ve got this kill here along the road.”
All of the dead birds had clear signs of trauma, but Marks collected a few to examine them.
Overeating and indigestion? Hmmmh.
Overeating and indigestion blamed for 1,000 turtle doves falling dead in Italy with strange blue stain on their beaks
Thousands of dead turtle doves that rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town were victims of their on greed, an expert claimed today.
Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks.
Last night it emerged that 40 turtle doves had also been found dead at San Cesario near Modena, 60 miles from Faenza, and tests were also being carried out on their bodies.
he birds have been found by residents in the village for the last three days and they alerted authorities after hearing reports of the incident at Faenza.
Gianni Sereni, who found 12 birds in his garden, said: ‘At first I didn’t think anything of it but then I saw the reports on the news about what had happened elsewhere so I called the local veterinary service.’
Initial tests on up to 1,000 of the doves from Faezna indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.
Around 500 dead blackbirds and starlings have been found dead in the US state of Louisiana just days after 3,000 birds fell from the sky in Arkansas.
The latest discovery was made along a stretch of a main road some 300 miles south of the town where red-winged blackbirds rained out of the darkness onto rooftops and pavements and into fields on New Year’s Eve.
Biologists have been collecting the bodies of the latest victims and sending samples to laboratories for analysis.
The birds found in Beebe, Arkansas, three days earlier, were thought to have died from blood clots and internal injuries that were blamed on a fireworks display. (BS)
It is not known whether the Louisiana birds suffered the same fate.
BEEBE, Ark. — Preliminary autopsies on 17 of the up to 5,000 blackbirds that fell on this town indicate they died of blunt trauma to their organs, the state’s top veterinarian told NBC News on Monday.
Their stomachs were empty, which rules out poison, Dr. George Badley said, and they died in midair, not on impact with the ground.
That evidence, and the fact that the red-winged blackbirds fly in close flocks, suggests they suffered some massive midair collision, he added. That lends weight to theories that they were startled by something.
Earlier Monday, the estimated number of dead birds was raised to between 4,000 and 5,000, up sharply from the initial estimate of 1,000.
The birds of the world are in serious trouble, and common species are in now decline all over the globe, a comprehensive new review suggests today.
From the turtle doves of Europe to the vultures of India, from the bobwhite quails of the US to the yellow cardinals of Argentina, from the eagles of Africa to the albatrosses of the Southern Ocean, the numbers of once-familiar birds are tumbling everywhere, according to the study from the conservation partnership BirdLife International.
Their falling populations are compelling evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment that is affecting all life on earth – including human life, BirdLife says in its report, State of The World’s Birds.
Taking flight: Magpie Geese migrate across the Northern Territory after
arriving from Indonesia (file photo) (Getty Images: Ian Waldie)
Birds are considered an accurate barometer of the state of the environment, so when the numbers of migratory birds fall, scientists consider it cause for concern.
Now the first major long-term survey assessing shore birds from Broome to Sydney has found that Australia’s massive migratory population has plummeted by up to 75 per cent over the last 25 years.
Johannesburg – Tens of thousands of swallows died in South Africa a week before they were due to migrate to Europe, BirdLife South Africa said on Wednesday, blaming unusually cold March weather. A sudden cold snap coming from in Angola gripped South Africa’s northern lowveld (savannah) towards the end of the southern summer in mid-March.
“Due to this the birds could not feed properly as it was too wet and too rainy for them to acquire the food. They became hypothermic and hypoglycaemic,” BirdLife director Gerhard Verdoorn was quoted by SAPA news agency as saying. “The tens of thousands of birds were falling down everywhere and just dying,” he said, adding residents in Limpopo province had at first suspected poisoning. The birds were supposed to migrate on March 23, the day of the equinox. Some birds survived and started their migration on March 28, he said. “Over the past couple of years it has become a more frequent occurrence and it is not only the swallows that are been affected but several other species of birds.”
RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Budapest, Hungary2008-03-04 19:22:55 – Climate Change – Sweden
GLIDE CODE: CC-20080304-15686-SWE
Date & Time: 2008-03-04 19:22:55 [UTC]
Area: Sweden, , Statewide,
Description:Icebreakers sit idle in ports. Insects crawl out of forest hideouts.
Daffodils sprout up from green lawns. Winter ended before it started in
Europe’s north, where record-high temperatures have people wondering
whether it’s a fluke or an ominous sign of a warming world. “It’s the
warmest winter ever” recorded, said John Ekwall of the Swedish
Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. In December, January and
February, the average temperature in Stockholm was 36 degrees – the
highest on record since record-keeping began in 1756. Record winter
highs were set at 12 other locations across the country, according to
the national weather service, SMHI. Migratory birds have returned from
southern latitudes prematurely. In southern Sweden, they never left.
“The birds that have stayed are robins and chaffinches,” said biologist
Lars-Ake Janzon at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. “They stayed
because there hasn’t been any snow.”
The warm weather also has stirred life inside the vast forests of the
Nordic and Baltic countries, where insects such as ants and ticks
emerged early from winter shelter. For businesses, the mild weather has
been a mixed blessing. For winter sports enthusiasts, the green winter
has been a nightmare. Small ski resorts around Stockholm never opened,
and skating enthusiasts waited in vain for ice to form on the waterways
surrounding the Swedish capital. “There’s not one millimeter of ice,”
said Anders Tysk, organizer of the annual Vikingarannet ice-skating race
on Lake Malaren. After postponing the race several weekends, he had to
tell 500 registered participants on Monday there would be no race this
year. “It’s the first time we’ve canceled since we introduced flexible
dates in 2003,” he said.