Posted by Xeno on January 9, 2009
First the frogs started disappearing. Then the bees started disappearing. Now, according to the Seattle Times, its birds:
Pelicans suffering from a mysterious malady are crashing into cars and boats, wandering along roadways and turning up dead by the hundreds across the West Coast, from southern Oregon to Baja California, Mexico, bird-rescue workers say.
Frogs and bees are so different from people that they are easier to ignore. But birds are larger, more complicated, warm-blooded animals, and thus closer to us biologically.
People will be in real trouble unless we figure out why the amphibians, bees and birds are dying.
Weak, disoriented birds are huddling in people's yards or being struck by cars. More than 100 have been rescued along the California coast, according to the International Bird Rescue Research Center in San Pedro. Hundreds of birds, disoriented or dead, have been observed across the West Coast.
"One pelican actually hit a car in Los Angeles," said Rebecca Dmytryk of Wildrescue, a bird-rescue operation. "One pelican hit a boat in Monterey." ...
Rescuers are wondering whether the illness is caused by a virus, or even by contaminants washed into the ocean after recent fires across Southern California. Many of the birds also have swollen feet.
"These birds are on the freeway, getting run over," said Jay Holcomb, executive director of the rescue center in San Pedro. "A bunch we've seen have been hit. They've been landing on yards five miles inland. When some of the people have captured them in parking lots, they just sit in the corner. They just go pick them up." - seattletimes