Hundreds of animals dead – Mysterious death of swallows on the Attersee

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Hundreds of animals dead – Mysterious death of swallows on the Attersee

They just fell out of the sky! A mysterious death of swallows is reported in places around Lake Attersee in Upper Austria. Experts believe that several factors play a role here.

“Bird drama here in Unterach – countless swallows have been gathering for days. Many were dead this morning, what could be the reason?” wrote Eva Moser on Facebook, posting a shocking photo from the garden. She was not alone.

Another woman reported: “Very sad in my garden – seven pieces yesterday too.” Similar observations were made in Schörfling. “In Unterach we have dead swallows everywhere. It was terrible,” said Moser. An ornithologist from the district administration of Vöcklabruck now wants to look at the dead swallows.

cold and lack of food
“For the current death of swallows in the region around Unterach am Attersee, several phenomena must have converged,” explains Susanne Schreiner of BirdLife in response to a question from “Krone”: “When the weather starts to get bad with heavy rain and cold , there are fewer flying insects in the air, on which the swallows depend as a food source.” This weakens the swallows, namely those who are already on the strenuous passage through Austria from the north, and those late breeders who are only now moving south from us.

Climate change could also play a big role, says Schreiner: “It’s also possible that last summer’s severe drought reduced the swallows’ food supply, allowing the swallows to store fewer fat reserves for the current bird migration to the southern winter quarters.” Eva Moser’s observation that there were hardly any mosquitoes in Unterach this year is correct.

keep flight paths intact
BirdLife Austria advocates keeping the swallows’ natural habitats intact, with their wet patches and small bodies of water, as well as their migratory routes and resting places. This is the only way the swallows can absorb the weather fluctuations during the breeding season, but also during the seasonal migration of birds.

This year BirdLife Austria started the conservation project “Teacher Swallow – Help for the lucky charm in need”. The house martin is also bird of the year 2022.

Source: Krone

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