Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Birds and Fireworks

The noise from the annual 4th of July fireworks display in Martinsburg’s War Memorial Park caused me to ponder the impact of fireworks on wild birds (they drive our hyper-sensitive dog crazy). Here’s what a quick Google search revealed:

In their advice on “Fireworks and wild birds,” Great Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of birds “particularly urge[s[ firework display organizers to avoid locating near to sensitive wildlife areas, such as nature reserves and roosting sites for wild birds.” That seems like remarkably sensible advice. But they also note that “there is little evidence to suggest that fireworks harm wild birds or affect their conservation status.” That also makes sense.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, spurred by concerns about the potential direct and indirect impacts of fireworks on beach-nesting Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) [a threatened population] on the U.S. Atlantic Coast, issued guidelines for avoiding such impacts. This has led to the cancellation of fireworks displays in some communities, much to the consternation of local residents (see here and here).

Elsewhere, fireworks displays have been halted or modified to protect a pair of Peregrine Falcon’s (Falco peregrinus) nesting near London, nesting Western Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) [a threatened subspecies] in Morro Bay, California, and nesting seabirds at another California coastal locality.


Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

I've watch birds in my yard while the yahoos down the street do their own fireworks displays, and they don't even flinch. I assume that it's the same as thunder to them?
But getting hit with one...I bet the birds would not appreciate that.
My dog gets wonky, too, during 4th celebrations. We used to have to give her doggie tranquilizers.

July 07, 2007 12:47 AM  

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