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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Walking on Beach, Soaking Up Sun, Seeing Dead Birds






Sorry about dead birds below, but they were there. Actually, there were many more that looked much worse.



Still, Lake Michigan can hardly look bad, can it? Especially on a sunny, brisk day in fall.




Monday evening postscript: The pictures in this post were taken on Sunday afternoon. Today Sarah and I visited the beach at Peterson Park, and it too was littered with dead birds. We did not walk as far south on the beach as Barb Livingston, whom we met on her way back. She had found a very freshly dead loon. Very sad. What gives?

7 comments:

Loreen Niewenhuis said...

Hi Pamela,

I know there is concern about avian botulism along the lake.

http://birding.about.com/b/2010/10/15/avian-botulism-in-northern-michigan.htm

Don't handle dead birds or let dogs munch them as the toxin persists for a while. They are asking that dead birds be reported so the problem can be monitored. Is there a DNR office nearby?

I think the warm summer temps and higher-than-normal lake temps have made the responsible bacteria more prevalent this year. Bad news for birds.

Susan said...

We saw several dead birds on the beach in late September and wondered, too. Perhaps Pauline knows?

P. J. Grath said...

There is a DNR office in Traverse City, Loreen. Fortunately, Sarah is pretty good about the "Leave it!" command, but there are really a LOT of dead birds, from cormorants and gulls to the loon Barb found. It is sad!

Will winter temperatures kill the botulism bacteria? I guess Susan and I both have to follow the link you sent, Loreen. Thanks.

P. J. Grath said...

Here is another good information site on avian botulism:

http://www.harborlightnews.com/atf.php?sid=11371&current_edition=2010-10-13

torchlakeviews said...

According to the DNR's website, the Leelanau contact for botulism reporting is Mark Breederland, 231-922-4628.

http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,1607,7-186--193515--,00.html

Dawn said...

We saw several dead birds on the beach of Lake Huron a few weeks ago too.

P. J. Grath said...

I wonder if it's all over the Great Lakes. Seems one of the things I read suggested a connection to zebra mussels, too. Hope this is not a long-term trend.