A “Most Unusual Event”: Birds returning from Fukushima-area with troubling symptoms — Appear to not have been able to find food in North Pacific — “I’ve never seen birds in that poor of a condition come back to New Zealand”

Published: April 30th, 2012 at 12:00 am ET


Title: Muttonbirds affected by Fukushima
Source: NZ Herald News
Author: Paul Harper
Date: 10:55 AM Monday Apr 30, 2012

Headline: Muttonbirds affected by Fukushima

Department of Conservation seabird researcher Graeme Taylor told Radio New Zealand

  • The birds return to New Zealand in November to mate, but […] the ones that returned were in poor condition
  • “We won’t know if they’ve died up there in the north Pacific until another year goes by, because sometimes these birds skip a breeding season- where if they are in a poor condition they don’t attempt to breed, and so they may turn up again and breed”
  • “But if the birds never turn up again then you have to start to wonder what’s gone on with the population”
  • The drop in numbers was the “most unusual event” in 20 years of studies of the birds’ numbers
  • He said many of the birds which arrived back had old feathers on their tails, wings and body
  • “I’ve never seen birds in that poor of a condition come back to New Zealand”
  • He said the condition of muttonbirds suggested they did not get the food in the north Pacific they usually do

See also: [intlink id=”33-muttonbirds-disappeared-after-summer-fukushima-making-poor-condition-new-zealand-govt-researcher” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: April 30th, 2012 at 12:00 am ET


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23 comments to A “Most Unusual Event”: Birds returning from Fukushima-area with troubling symptoms — Appear to not have been able to find food in North Pacific — “I’ve never seen birds in that poor of a condition come back to New Zealand”

  • CB CB

    Related? Who’s up for lunch? A Gull-eating Octopus in Victoria, BC (Pictures)
    ~ BirdFellow
    Posted in Off Topic

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    If the plankton, who provide up to 70% of the oxygen we breathe, go fast, we won't be far behind.

  • wfs wfs

    A bat is dieing in front of my house. Flopping around in the road. I dont know. Everything means something else now. Im losing my mind.

    • StillJill StillJill

      wfs,….I am soooo sorry! More for you,…but the bat too, of course!

      When I see a squirrel get run over and roll and suffer,…I spend the next 8-10 hours trying to get over what I feel.

      Some of us are just wired this way!

      We must accept these things, damn-it!

      Like I told my roommate today,…"I don't LIKE any of the choices we have today! Damn-it, none of them,….we are forced to choose the least bad ideas and hope and pray"!

    • goathead goathead

      Man!! "Everything means something else now"! You are so f**king right!!
      But your not alone!!!!!!!!!!

      • goathead goathead

        In response to wfs!

      • StillJill StillJill

        Gosh,…isn't that the truth? I saw cows and horses today out in a field, while driving by. My roommate said, "Isn't it nice having these beautiful animals so close to our home?" I said,…"I see dead cows and horses. I no longer see what you see,….and it makes me feel both MAD and ALONE!"

        I hear ya ALL!

        This sucks,….add to that having to live-it-alone! (In 3-D that is!)


        Special star in Heaven, to be sure! 🙂

        • mem mem

          I'm glad you said this…I was just thinking how isolating it is to know about Fukushima because I don't talk to anyone about it anymore. Whenever I speak of it, no one wants to hear it. I understand why, and I'm not sure that spending my days feeling so stressed about it is the best thing for me but I can't turn away. It's like being in an invisible forest fire and not being able to tell the people around you to run. Not that there is anywhere to run to…I moved from the West Coast to Ontario but the damage to pine trees etc is just as bad here. Every anomaly is suspect now and everything that still seems normal feels surreal.

          I never thought the end of the world would be a secret, or that my only companions in knowing about it would be strangers on a website. I don't ever post but I'm here every day and thank you all so much for being here too!

          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            Hi mem, same here! Though my partner feels the same as i do and I don't know what I'd do without him in all this, I can totally relate to your feeling of isolation…I ask myself on a daily basis: "Why are people so numb, so stupid?".
            Behind my apartment there's a public parking lot. At 10:30 AM it's crammed with cars, while 30 more wait to get in. People go shopping. At 5 PM, they come back hauling bags, bags and bags. Go home. Had a great day (or what they think a great day is).
            It frustrates me beyond words.

            • mem mem

              Thanks BreadandButter! It is so frustrating but maybe it's better than the chaos that would ensue if everyone knew. Hard to even imagine what that would be like after a year of the actual data being hidden.

    • WildTurnip WildTurnip

      A bat exhibiting unusual behavior could mean it is rabid. Stay away from it.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi wfs, reading your post I remembered this article I saw this morning:
      "Britain's hibernating bats avoid deadly fungus killing their US cousins
      Scientists in Britain are monitoring the fatal 'white-nose' syndrome that has been devastating colonies of the flying mammals in the US"

      Read more here:

      *and don't lose your mind, we need you here

    • moineau

      i fell in love with a little townsend warbler… next morning it was lying dead on my porch. such a shock, it took days to get over it. "everything means something now …"

  • StillJill StillJill

    If the beagles, who inhaled a lot less than the 5 hot particles Arnie said were in car filters IN MAY of 2011,…In freaking' Seattle, Wash,…IF they lived only 16 months, as I recall,…we're already at 13 months.

    The clock is ticking!

    However,…I doubt they gave those poor dogs remediation tools or supplements, right? Of course not,….would have spoiled all the research (fun)! 🙁

  • For one who had studied Rachel Carson(Silent Spring), who has followed bird data after Chernobyl,vulture extinction in India, this is a building ongoing food chain damage threat which is critical to life-more and more data like this throw up the question of extinction. I do hope ecologists are siezed of the problem and we will be able to build up more reliable useful data. Bombay Natural History Society would be shocked at all these reports. I am sending the link to them and will await their response. Thanks.

  • Eric

    WFS Just this morning, i saw the first bat of the year here. This is just about when they show up in the Pacific NW. It seems true that we're starting to feel like we are swimming in it, but,(and i know i risk the scathing retort of many), everything here has a lifespan. Just by nature of being alive, there will be death. Reading the last 3000 or more articles here has me and others fixated on just the bad, and we need to remember that there is still life going on here on Earth.
    A lil' while ago, you were expressing an understandably high level of concern about your kids, two, plus one soon, i,think. I encourage you to look at this report for a proactive approach to dealing with the stress and trauma of this predicament over which we have little apparent control; http://www.doctoryourself.com/Radiation_VitC.pptx.pdf
    The rest of doctoryourself.com has info i apreciate . Vitamin therapy-stifled by the same fine people who brought you Fukushima

  • goatherdjim

    In the last two years we have had a drastic drop in Rufous Hummingbirds here in the Coastal Hills of Oregon. We had so many, we couldn't keep the feeders filled, around 40 or 50. Now we sadly have two pair. They winter in the gulf. Don't know if it's caused by the oil spill or radiation.

    • Cindy Cindy

      Hi Goatheardjim;

      I agree with you. I live west of Portland and I have noticed the same. Also a significant decrease in the goldfinch/chickadee population here. The thought of a "Silent Spring" came to mind.

  • RutherfordsGhost

    People here have been eating them and getting sick. Simple tests indicate that they are radioactive.


  • RutherfordsGhost

    There appears to have been some fallout over New Zealand during the last weekend. It was coming down in the rain, with swabs indicating 2-3 times background from 0.5 m^2 surface area wipes.