Monday, July 10, 2023

DEC: Do Wildfires Affect Birds?


Recently, New York State experienced the harsh effects of raging wildfires in the Canadian Province of Ontario. For several days, air quality indexes spiked to concerning and unhealthy levels, as noticeable smoke covered most of the state in a haze. Here in New York, multiple smaller wildland fires have burned in locations across the state due to dry spring conditions. In addition to causing potential human health and safety concerns, wildfires also may affect local bird and wildlife populations.

According to the National Audubon Society, while many birds may be able to avoid fires and smoke pollution by simply flying away, weaker birds may be unable to escape. Like humans, researchers have also found that particulate matter in smoke may damage animal lung tissue, leaving these creatures prone to possible deadly respiratory infections. But it is not all bad. Many bird species have evolved with fire and benefit from the conditions that follow as new growth in a burn area develops.

To help birds experiencing the effects of local wildfires, please consider the following:

  • Provide water via bird baths for thirsty birds to drink and bathe in.
  • Look out for sick or injured birds. If a bird is in noticeable distress, call your local wildlife rehabilitator to seek advice.

Photo at top: Wildfire. NYS DEC photo.

Related Stories

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

One Response

  1. Steve B. says:

    Not sure what they are talking about. I was only aware of fires in Quebec as well further much further west, not in Ontario. At least that’s what the current Canadian Fire map shows,

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox