Tracking the impacts of this storm on wildlife

Uri (the winter storm that occurred February 13-17, 2021 that brought record cold temperatures to many parts of North America) has dominated the recent news cycle, and in addition to the toll it's taken on human communities, many people are sharing their observations of the toll on wildlife via social media (like this report of Eastern Bluebirds from North Texas). We welcome folks to share such sightings with this project as well!

To share observations, you must have an iNaturalist account and join this project. Then, select the observations you wish to share and add them to this project. While it was set up and is administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife, this project will accept observations made during February 2021 throughout North America.

Posted by taniahomayoun taniahomayoun, February 23, 2021 02:30

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I rescued two wild birds that were struggling from to cold on Monday, February 15, 2021. I brought both birds in and placed the juvenile mocking bird in a rescue bird cage and the female sparrow in a rescue box. The sparrow had one eye closed, like the frost had gotten to it. The sparrow was really weak. The mocking bird started to improve significantly one warmed up. He/she was flying around in the cage. It drank water and foraged at the bottom of cage and ate the worms I put in. We lost power in Monday afternoon. I covered the birds and would try to warm with body heat intermittently. The female sparrow passed. I could not keep her warm enough, as my family and I were almost freezing to death. The sparrow made it to Tuesday night, but succumbed to the freezing conditions in our home. There was nothing more I could do.🥲

Posted by walter_n_michelle... 10 days ago (Flag)
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@walter_n_michelle_peters We've been hearing so many reports like yours... it sounds like you did everything you could, but I'm sure even many rehabilitators who could have taken those birds in were likely without power, too.

Posted by taniahomayoun 10 days ago (Flag)
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Thousands of dead Sea Mullet are floating up to the surface in my backyard. We are in Tropic Isles subdivision in Flour Bluff (Corpus Christi), TX.

Posted by coastallivingincc 10 days ago (Flag)
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I live in East Texas. I have about 20 acres and I have found over a dozen birds that have died. From Red Robin’s to female and make red birds. Other birds that I don’t know. I was surprised at how many I found. We tried to save some but it was too late when we got to them. We did have bird feeders out but it was still not enough . I saw one tiny mole also dead. There might be more but I haven’t walked the acres to see.

Posted by mcangelica 9 days ago (Flag)
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So sorry to see these accounts. Animal Help Now is a nonprofit (federal tax id 27-2034873). We offer a free phone app and website (www.AHNow.org) to quickly find the nearest wildlife rehabilitators and rescues. We are organizing a relief effort for TX rehabilitators impacted by the recent storm. If you wish to contribute, please visit www.ahnow.org/txstorms.

Posted by daveanimalhelpnow 7 days ago (Flag)
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I have noticed probably atleast 15 dead birds of unknown causes, mostly finches. We initially noticed this starting during the snow. My husband and I thought it was from extreme cold and/or flying into our windows near feeders. I e also noticed black birds attacking finches and eating the heads off of them. The 15 or more I am counting do not include any of them with obvious injuries consistent with what we were seeing with the black birds. However, the dead birds have not stopped since the snow melted. I am still finding 2-3 dead birds every 1-2 days. My birds seem slow to respond, you can walk up on them on feeders without them flying off, some seem clumsy or as if they do not want to fly. I watched one of feeder today who looked sickly, with matted looking eyes, acting like it was having trouble swallowing seeds. I am now worried that there is something more going on? Maybe salmonellosis? Other than cleaning/bleaching feeders, I am not sure what further steps to take. Any insight?

Posted by kristencoats 4 days ago (Flag)
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@kristencoats Your description of "sickly, with matted eyes" sounds like you could have mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, or house finch eye disease being passed around: https://feederwatch.org/learn/house-finch-eye-disease/ And, you are right, the best course of action to take is to take down your feeders, take them apart and thoroughly disinfect them (a 10% bleach solution and hot water is usually suggested), and let them dry thoroughly before re-hanging.

Posted by taniahomayoun 4 days ago (Flag)
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During Storm URI I observed 1 bluebird on feb 14 getting shelter by house near water pond (cloudy day). Saw 2 bluebirds on feb 15 sunnying by house & taking shelter. I never saw them again following the -0 to -2 temps days that followed.

Posted by lunahollen 3 days ago (Flag)

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