Severe hailstorm kills 11,000 birds in Montana


A severe hailstorm killed more than 11,000 birds at Big Lake Wildlife Management Area west of Molt in Montana on August 11, 2019.

20 to 30 percent of the birds at the lake were killed or injured. Some of those still are alive will not survive their injuries.

More than 11,000 birds have been killed during an extreme hailstorm in Montana on August 11, 2019. Picture: Montana FWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say a hailstorm killed and maimed more than 11,000 birds at the Big Lake Wildlife Management Area outside Billings on August 11, 2019.

The hailstorm killed or badly injured between 11,000 and 13,000 waterfowl and shorebirds, some of which still are alive but will not survive their injuries from the storm.

In other words, 20 to 30 percent of the birds at the lake were killed or injured. Of the birds that still are alive, five percent of ducks on the lake and 30 percent to 40 percent of living pelicans and cormorants show some sign of injury or impaired movement – mostly broken wings and broken wing feathers.

Neighbors reported baseball-sized hail as well as 70 mph wind in the area that broke the birds wings, smashed skulls, and triggered internal damage and other blunt-force injuries.

montana hailstorm kills thousands birds, hailstorm kills thousands birds montana picture
Some bird carcasses after the devastating hailstorm at Big Lake Wildlife Management Area west of Molt, Montana on August 11, 2019. Picture: Montana FWP

The following is a press release from Montana FWP:

A hailstorm that flattened crops, broke windows and wrecked roofs and vehicles throughout the region Sunday also killed and maimed more than 11,000 waterfowl and wetland birds at the Big Lake Wildlife Management Area west of Molt.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists who visited the lake this week picked up dead ducks and shorebirds with broken wings, smashed skulls, internal damage and other injuries consistent with massive blunt-force trauma. They reported thousands of additional dead or badly injured waterfowl and wetland birds in and around the lake.

A neighboring landowner reported baseball-sized hail that broke windows in the area Sunday evening. Local weather reports said Molt and Rapelje suffered two-inch hail propelled by a 70-mile-per-hour wind.

FWP wildlife biologist Justin Paugh estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the birds at the lake were killed or injured. Of the birds that still are alive, Paugh estimated that five percent of ducks on the lake and 30 percent to 40 percent of living pelicans and cormorants show some sign of injury or impaired movement – mostly broken wings and broken wing feathers.

FWP’s Big Lake Wildlife Management Area features a shallow, often-seasonal lake and wetland that are nesting areas for dozens of species of ducks, Canada geese, double-crested cormorants, shorebirds, gulls, pelicans and other waterfowl. Because of wet weather this past spring, the lake filled and currently covers around 4,000 acres.

Paugh and wildlife research specialist Jay Watson were back at the lake later this week to continue their survey of the damage to birds and try to assess the potential for additional problems to crop up.

Paugh said his scientific estimates show that the hailstorm killed or badly injured between 11,000 and 13,000 waterfowl and shorebirds, some of which still are alive but will not survive their injuries from the storm. Most of the dead birds have blown ashore.

Among future concerns is the possibility that disease – including botulism – caused by rotting carcasses could further devastate the bird populations. FWP will continue to monitor that situation.

Meanwhile, the lake is still covered with waterfowl that are alive and healthy. Life will go on.

Read More:

Follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Share your thoughts in our DISCUSSION FORUMS. Please and thank you





Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Amazon forest turns into the gates of Hell
Thought it was a basil leaf!!
100 Strange Sounds No. 54 – Xylophone
House Sitting For My Old Man And Noticed He Has A Collection of Dead Frogs/Toads On His Windowsill
RSOE EDIS – Flood event in [Ilaje Local Government Area], State of Ondo, Nigeria on September 18 2019 05:02 AM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *