As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Migration hard on some birds

By Gale Rose 
Posted Jan. 11, 2014 @ 12:01 am 

Pratt, Kan.
During migration season, tens of thousands of geese, mostly snow geese and Canada geese, can be seen in the skies over Pratt and at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake.

Recently, however, a couple of Canada geese were seen frozen in the lake and dead. With multiple thousands of geese traveling through the area, finding a dead goose is not unusual, said Tom Bidrowski, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism migratory game bird program manager.

The geese could have died from several causes including injury, old age and stress from migration. The recent extreme cold could also be a factor.

No effort will be made to determine why these particular birds died. But if from three to five birds are found dead in one area, the bodies are gathered and sent to a lab for testing.

Another possible cause of death is bad grain. Some people might feed birds grain that can cause a fungal infection and kill the bird. For that reason,

“We don’t encourage people to feed water fowl,” Bidrowski said.

Because some birds will die during migration, eagles will follow the flocks and pick off prey. It is not unusual to see eagles hunting at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivera.

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