Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, rising water temperatures all impact our beloved birds

Is there anyone who is not aware of extreme heat that is in the Pacific Northwest? or the fact that the rivers and creeks are drying up? and the temperature of the water is getting hotter?

The Montana Osprey Project has just posted the following:

“In order to reduce the stress and disturbance on these fish, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has placed fishing restrictions on many rivers in Montana, including parts of the Clark Fork River, Big Hole River, Gallatin River, Madison River, Beaverhead River, Jefferson River, Ruby River and others. The trout populations in parts of the Clark Fork River (and other rivers) have dropped to fractions of their former sizes. The low water and warming temperatures are suspected to play a big role in these population declines.”

The river temperatures in Montana are at 75 degrees F. The authors of the FB Montana Osprey Project posting state that they will “not immediately kill the trout” but a long exposure could kill up to 50% of the fish. That is why they took such drastic actions. Those warm waters impact all the fish that the Ospreys consume including the grand dame, Iris. The authors say that they will follow up with a report on what they believe declining fish numbers due to heat will have on the Osprey populations.

“Mountain in a town” by Bitterroot is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There has been much discussion about the impact of weather systems on our birds and all of us are watching Elsa. My inbox has been full of queries – for which I am very grateful. It shows the love and concern we all have for these gorgeous fish hawks (and the other birds).

I wanted to find out what had happened to the birds on the island in the Caribbean where my son lives – Grenada. The year before he moved to Grenada, 2004, there were two hurricanes that hit the island directly, Ivan and Emily. Each struck the island. Ivan was slow and deadly churning over the islands of the Atlantic for twenty-three days. Ivan was enormous sustaining winds of 165 mph or 270 kph. It was the strongest hurricane of the 2004 season and destroyed the growing economy of Grenada. The palm trees lining one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its pure white sand, Grand Anse, were uprooted. Most houses lost their roofs. An old timer told me that they called the hurricane ‘Ivan Rufus’. People were in their houses and the roofs went spinning off. Centuries old nutmeg trees were destroyed along with much of the bird populations and their source of food. The worst hit were the birds that feed on nectar, fruit, and seeds. Nests in the forest were destroyed and breeding was delayed.

There is a really good article that my son sent me today that is called, “The effects of hurricanes on birds, with special reference to Caribbean Islands” by J.W. Wiley and J. M. Wunderle. It was printed in Bird Conservation International. While the article does deal with the Caribbean, it brings much insight to what could happen along the US Southern Coast.

Elsa is predicted to stay as a Tropical Storm so, as you do read the pages, please keep that in mind. There is nothing pointing to Elsa gaining strength to become a hurricane. Tiny Tot should weather the storm fine. She will be soaked and that nest could be missing some twigs but it should also have been built using hurricane standard methods. Still, all of us will keep watch and send warm wishes that all of the birds and wildlife are not impacted.

I am attaching the article here if any of you are interested. The same information could be applied to areas hit by hurricanes in the US.

At 4:55:17, Jack delivered Tiny Tot a really nice fish! Thank you, dad.

It looks like Mrs G gave up on Aran and went and got her own fish today!

At the Lyn Clywedog Nest, Seren has decided for their great Big Bob to see if he can begin self feeding. That is a really nice fish that Dylan brought in. Like all moms, Seren will give in and help Only Bob but he is giving it a good go before asking for help.

There is an easy way to deal with the rising temperatures, the droughts, and the declining fish stocks for the birds that rely solely on fish stocks for food. The first is for humans to take responsibility for climate change. Then build fish farms for these birds – not for humans, for the birds. When the Ospreys migrate to places in the northern part of South America, such as Columbia, they are often shot for stealing from the farms. So we know that they will get fish out of tanks – so build them if they are needed and put some enthusiasm behind the word ‘Conservation’.

That’s it for a hot Sunday in Canada. I do not know where the birds are that generally hang out in my garden but they are still not arriving and it is nearly 7pm. There is lots of water and food. Hopefully they will come soon.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me. Continue to monitor Elsa as she moves towards Florida. Stay safe Tiny Tot!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Lyn Clywedog and Carnyx Wild, Achieva Credit Union, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn. Thank you to my son for finding the academic article on the impact of hurricanes on our birds. So appreciated.

Featured image is Mrs G on the Glaslyn Osprey Nest, 4 July 2021.

4 Comments

  1. HI
    Sorry but I made a mistake about the feed of Tumbles…the second one was at 605pm(EST). She had a double dinner tonight.

    Thanks for the article. Hurricanes are so harmful to the wildlife. I believe there are 2 endangered species of parrots on PR that suffered greatly at the last hurricane. I hope all goes well…keeping my fingers crossed the TS will veer to the far left of the Western coast of Fl.

    Salliane

  2. Oh, wonderful. Tiny will be totally full for bedtime! So, bravo, Jack. I checked and only saw one so, thank you Salliane. Yes, these storms are so terrible on the wildlife. Fingers crossed!
    It is always nice to hear from you Salliane. I see that Electra is on and off the nest, still. I continue to remind myself that Mrs G hangs around her nest, too. Those poor babies, though. I wish Electra had moved them. It is hard to see them being stepped on.

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