Hundreds of Birds Falling from the Skies Above Florida

Smoke from massive wildfires has birds falling from the sky.

ByPatricia Martell

May 13, 2007 — -- As if the massive wildfires raging across Florida weren't enough for residents to worry about, many are now looking to the skies, and facing another problem.

The clouds of smoke produced by the fire are causing hundreds of birds in Broward and Miami-Dade counties to drop out of the sky or crash into the windows of buildings. Wildlife officials say hundreds of yellow warblers have died.

"The smoke disorients the birds and impairs their vision," said Stefan Harsch of the Wildlife Care Center in Ft. Lauderdale.

"The birds are coming in with concussions," he said. "We treat them with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs like an ibuprofen."

"This is out of control," said Wendy Fox, executive director of Miami's Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. "There are hundreds of them."

The Wildlife Care Center says that many of the injured birds will recover from their injuries if they are treated. They recommend that people bring injured warblers to their local vet or pick up injured birds and put them in a safe place like a box with breathing holes.

"They're vulnerable if they stay outside," said Harsch. "Sometimes being in a safe place is enough."

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