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8078Re: [CALBIRDS] Fire and Hummingbirds

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  • Ken Burton
    Sep 2, 2009
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      Hummingbirds are likely to fare relatively well. They are highly mobile
      and generally favor early-successional habitats. The smoky air probably
      won't bother them much. There are few if any active nests now. Some
      individuals will lose habitat temporarily but the fires should produce
      excellent wildflower blooms that will provide abundant food for hummers
      in the coming years.

      Ken Burton
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "John C. MacGregor" <jonivy@...>
      To: <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, August 31, 2009 10:02 PM
      Subject: [CALBIRDS] Fire and Hummingbirds

      > As many of you know, in the San Gabriel Mountains north of the Los
      > Angeles Basin we are experiencing the greatest fire in the history of
      > California--more than 100,000 acres burned and still growing
      > rapidly. More than 12,000 homes evacuated. Many structure
      > destroyed. The entire southern California communication system of
      > television and emergency radio towers and the famous Hale Observatory
      > threatened on Mount Wilson. Completely out of control, with
      > containment at least another week away. Here is the show we have
      > been watching in the daytime (when the southwestern sea breeze blows
      > the smoke away from the cities--otherwise, we can't see anything) for
      > the past five days:
      > http://brandonriza.com/Video/HTML/ZeroPercentContained.html
      > I have received several questions from hummingbird watchers about the
      > effect this catastrophic fire might have on our little friends.
      > Would they get away? What would the very foul air quality do to
      > them? (As a lifelong asthma sufferer, I can attest that it makes
      > breathing extremely difficult. I sleep with a C-PAP machine that
      > filters and humidifies the air, so I am not in great trouble at
      > night). But what would it do to the lungs of tiny hummers? It would
      > certainly kill any unfledged babies, but would newly fledged birds be
      > able to cope with these conditions?
      > John C. MacGregor, Hummers-West List Owner
      > South Pasadena, CA, USA
      > USDA Zone 9
      > Sunset Zones 21/23
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