Local Weather Events
Psittacines, because they roost in large numbers, are often victims of severe storms, hailstones, lightning strikes, and floods. These are rare events but usually result in dozens, if not hundreds, of casualties. Birds usually have severe or fatal blunt trauma from falling objects or from falling. Lightning may cause internal charring, instantaneous death, or noticeably severe burns. Those which survive are subject to hypo- or hyperthermia. Food sources may be obliterated.
Near-drowning is usually the result of flooding, downpours, or drought/heat plus treacherous water resources (such as steep sided ponds or swimming pools). Known nest cavities should be checked for flooding.
Dust storms may result in flock suffocation. Survivors may be subjected to primary respiratory foreign body-pneumonia/silicosis, secondary infections, incapacity, impaired fitness for flight and feeding.
Temporary "cold snaps", "heatwaves" or unseasonal cold/hot weather may result in local population impact on a disastrous scale.
Since many urban psittacines are outside their normal geographic range, especially the populations in temperate Europe and North America, they may suffer from normal or abnormal weather events. Psittacines within their geographical ranges can suffer from extreme weather events which may affect adults and young. Nestlings and fledglings often exit an over-exposed nest early if it is overheated, or may be at risk in cold snaps.
An unusual and rare event: Kakapo killed in landslide
What to Expect
mass mortality and morbidity
large numbers and entire flocks
hypo- or hyperthermia
electrical shock injuries and burns
What to Do
Capture and contain injured birds
Trauma triage may be necessary to select the birds most likely to survive
keep them in a warm, dry, safe and secure environment
do not force water or food
warm water can be gently dropped along the tomia (edges of upper and lower beak) to encourage normal licking and swallowing
once water is accepted, warm sugar water (1:4 sugar to warm water) can be alternated
do not offer free-access water until they are able to regain normal posture
offer food only after they are hydrated
contact appropriate rescue if/when possible ASAP
minimal handling and refrain from :staring at them all the time"
visual or audible contact with other birds is desirable
ambulant and non-aggressive birds may do better in small groups (5 or less)
severe injury and hypothermia generally do not lead to good outcomes
many birds will have fatal injuries
expect a high mortality rate on birds that are found down on the ground and docile
some extensively traumatized birds will survive
head injuries can recover given time and supportive care
Remote feed and water stations can be set up in burnt areas to help wildfire survivors.
Remote feed and water stations