Scientists from the United States have traced the cause of the mass death of birds in the country. It turned out that they were starving due to the abnormally low temperature.
The mass death of thousands of songbirds in the southwestern United States was linked to prolonged famine, aggravated by the unseasonal cold. Weather anomalies have arisen due to climate change.
Among the birds most affected were flycatchers, swallows and warblers, found in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Nebraska. Necropsy performed by the USGS National Wildlife Conservation Center showed that 80% of the samples showed typical signs of starvation.
The muscles controlling the birds’ wings contracted severely, blood was found in their intestinal tract, they had kidney failure, and general fat loss. Researchers have recorded nearly 10,000 dead birds in the wildlife mortality database, but according to preliminary estimates, hundreds of thousands of birds could have died.
“It appears that wasting was the immediate cause of death for these birds,” said National Wildlife Conservation Center director Jonathan Suliman. – It is difficult to find a direct causal relationship, but we believe that the main reason is weather conditions. And they are obviously connected with the general climate change in our country. ”
The first deaths were registered on August 20. Most of the deaths occurred on September 9 and 10 during cold weather, which likely meant that food was especially scarce these days. In a weakened state, the birds became disoriented, fought against cars or buildings, landed on the ground and died from cold weather or attacks of predators.