Hundreds of Thousands Of Dead Birds In NM- Have You Seen Any?
Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds have been found dead and acting strangely before dying across New Mexico, and some even in El Paso. Have you seen any?
The other day I was shocked to see a mud swallow on my porch walking around. A mother swallow constructed a nest on my porch and I have been a "bird mom" for a couple of months now.
I've been making sure the neighborhood cats stay away, cleaning the bird poop off the floor, and even set up some bird feed and a birdbath to try and help make my porch more comfortable. After the first clutch of eggs hatched, the mother swallow once again laid more eggs and I had more baby birds to watch grow.
While the last family of birds was able to watch grow up and fly off to migrate, this last clutch of eggs had more issues. Out of the 3 or 4 birds that hatched, I was shocked to find all of them dead only weeks after hatching.
I found two of the dead birds on my porch on different days, and the others I found their feathers in my and my neighbor's yards. At first, I assumed that the neighborhood cats had killed them or injured them, but now I'm wondering if they were victims of the unknown reason hundreds of thousands of migratory birds have died in the region.
According to KVIA News, biologists are trying to solve the mystery of what is causing migratory birds to die across the region. According to scientists, the number of dead birds is staggering- hundreds of thousands of birds from various species- sparrows, warblers, blackbirds, bluebirds, and more, have all been found dead mostly in New Mexico, but also in Colorado, Texas, and even into Mexico.
Others who have found the birds also reported the birds exhibiting strange behavior before they died. One of the birds I found was walking around on the ground and wasn't even attempting to fly. I called a friend who is a wildlife biologist to ask her what I should do and she instructed me to pick the bird up and place it back in the nest or in a tree.
Still, I woke up the next morning to find the bird dead on the ground. I assumed its siblings had thrown it out of the nest but even those birds in the nest were acting strange. When I placed the bird in the nest, they allowed me to move them over to fit the other bird into the nest. A couple of days after the initial bird died, I found a second sibling dead underneath the nest.
Biologists have some theories why the birds are acting so strangely, and sadly, it may have to do with the wildfires that are ravaging forests across the country. Birds could have started their migration early due to the fires and not have stored enough fat before beginning their journey. Another possibility is the birds are inhaling smoke into their lungs making it difficult for them to fly.
There are plenty of theories but we won't know exactly how or why many of these birds died until the necropsies are completed and it could be a few weeks, according to KVIA. Hopefully next year I'll still be able to see these birds back on my porch again only this time I'll be cleaning their poop a little more willingly. I'll just be thankful that more of their kind are back.