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Greater Shearwater trouble

Discussion in 'Birds' started by woundedmallard, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Hey Everybirdy,

    An interesting occurrence along the east coast of Florida this week is a Great er Shearwater die off. For the previous month we've had excessive north easterly winds that have driven in many ocean dwelling birds such as Storm-petrels and Arctic Terns. While that particular wave has come and gone, those winds seem to have shifted the weed line that usually is located in and around the gulf stream located anywhere from 60 to 100 miles off shore, this shift has consequently moved much of the food source for these shearwater. Apparently, this has been driving the weaker and older birds in towards shore while the stronger ones presumably search for food further out to sea.
    Many have been congregated near the inlets (Ponce Inlet, Port Canaveral, Sebastian Inlet and a few spots south) where bait fish is naturally funneled. While it's calming down a bit, certain areas were viewing several hundred weakly flying off the breakers and after tiring, just been sitting on the water, eventually getting washed on shore and dying. It's sad to see, but it's a typical event every few years (sometimes 10 yrs, sometimes 3 or 4 yrs), but it generally ocurrs out at sea, where the birds eventually sink. Weather patterns occassionally bring this spectacle to the coast line.
    Probably an additional reason for their troubles is that the Greater Shearwaters prefer colder waters, which may contain different salinity than the warmer waters off Florida and thus the food sources may also affect their strength. Hundreds have been brought to local rehabs but none have been surviving treatment so far. The one imaged on the beach, literally died in my hands before I got to my car with it.
    Just thought I'd share that with you....now for a few pics.

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  2. Sad Story but part of the total story of life and death.

    Thanks for posting it!!
  3. Thomas, well done documentary, sad as it is.

  4. Sad story...such a beautiful bird :( 

  5. Hey Tom this is a very interesting and informitive post. I wish more people would take the time to read this stuff and learn more about the things they look to photograph. Just the other day I got an email from Jim saying about the lose of blue birds this year to the west nile virus and everyday I get newsletters about the envioment and whats going on with new laws and the lack of any being implmented this passed year and longer. Right now there are I read 279 species that should be considered for the endangered species and not a one has been acted on. Bad enough Mother Nature takes her toll so we don't need any human help. Nice post.
  6. Thanks everyone for looking in. I'm glad you all found it interesting, as did I. I hadn't expected to get more than a glimpse of the bird at all, but to get some of the interesting images was even more rewarding as I enjoy capturing some real life trials and tribulations.
  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I did read the article Tom from the site..

    Nice images you have.

    Nature does what nature has to some times
  8. What article Gale? Would like to catch it. Thanks.
  9. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    On the yahoo site. I am a member. I read. I do not participate:>)))
  10. Glacier


    Jan 17, 2006
    Boaz, Alabama
    Very informative and eye opening for me. I read this earlier today and went off to find out more information. I am landlocked so all this is new to me.
  11. It is amazing how fragile some ecosystems are and how quickly they collapse. This was a very interesting story, thank you for sharing it! :smile:

  12. You actually read those long winded postings??? lmao! :biggrin: kudos for you!
  13. Thanks Andy and Gretchen.

    As far as Greater Shearwaters go, their population is rather healthy at the moment in spite of the die off. As number go, the ones washing up will hardly put a dent on the whole. But seeing the event, as a human with emotion, it is a daunting sight.
  14. Until this post, I didn't know what a shearwater was - now I do and it's sad that these birds - beautiful birds have to suffer like this! I don't understand the stuff about the coast but it's sad........
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