Fireworks

The RSPB state that there is no evidence that fireworks harm and disturb wildlife and birds.

I cannot believe this is the case, the extreme loudness of modern fireworks the actual shock wave of sound produced must impact on birds and animals 

What about bats, owls and roosting birds in general ?

Tawny owls are pairing and calling to attract mates in November,  how can fireworks not impact on their behaviour and welfare ?

The RSPB needs to campaign robustly to at least limit the decibel level of fireworks that to my ears,are nothing more than mini bombs.

I would like to see the research in this area.

Also the air pollution and chemical poisons released by exploding fireworks must impact on moths,bats and any night feeding creatures...

Time we stopped this unnecessary pollution and poisoning of our atmosphere every November..#ClimateEmergency 

  • A simple search for "fireworks' effect on fauna" is informative.

    Anyone who doesn't understand the effect fireworks have on fauna should perhaps get out more. I'd suggest visiting the countryside around low-density, semi-urban areas the day after a large quantity of fireworks are set off.

    But, of course, the RSPB Community is not the RSPB.

    Dave
  • I have to say, I was a little surprised to read that there was no evidence to suggest fireworks have any harmful effect on wildlife, until I read the article, and it makes sense.

    Not many birds will be mating at this time of year, the current weather conditions are not conjusive to a successful brood and once winter gets going, food stocks will become thin, and feeding a brood takes a lot of food, as any human parent will know if they've had/have children/grandchildren.

    The RSPB does show concern with regard roosting, however, the big problem with anything like this, is policing.

    What does make sense, but that doesn't mean I agree or disagree with it, I'm not qualified to pass an informed comment, is the part about thunder storms.

    The article I presume you refer to is on the following link: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/dangers-to-birds/fireworks-and-birds/

    For those like me curious, I've copied and pasted the text below:

    The issue of fireworks and their impact on wild birds is a common cause for concern, especially around Bonfire Night in November.

    Do fireworks cause harm to wild birds?

    There is little evidence to suggest that fireworks harm wild birds or affect their conservation status.

    Available information suggests that the effect of firework displays on birds is little different from that of a thunderstorm. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and research to ensure the best course of action for wild bird conservation.

    Setting off fireworks close to nesting and roosting birds can cause disturbance. To minimise any adverse impact of fireworks on birds, we urge organisers of firework displays to avoid launching the rockets near to sensitive wildlife areas, such as nature reserves, and nesting and roosting sites for wild birds.

    It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to recklessly or intentionally disturb a Schedule 1 species whilst it is in, on or near a nest during the breeding season. Where people are aware Schedule 1 species are nesting in the area, such as barn owls, then they need to take necessary steps to try and ensure no disturbance is caused.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • It is that article Mike, but I'm still not convinced and I'll tell you why.
    The RSPB state that the effect on wild birds is little difference to that of a thunderstorm.
    Ok let's examine that. Birds are sentinent creatures in tune with and adapted to living in their environment.
    They no doubt can sense an approaching thunderstorm, eg changes to air pressure, temperature, wind.
    Thunderstorms approach from one direction and build gradually, birds have ample warning of an imminent storm and the rumble of thunder often but not always increases as a storm approaches.
    Fireworks are a different kettle of fish entirely, there is no warning ,no changes in environmental conditions.
    Just an immediate and often incredibly loud and sudden kerboom ! Enough to frighten and stress any creature.
    Yes this is all conjecture but can the RSPB prove this is not the case ?
    The decibel level of some modern fireworks is akin to a bomb exploding, the shockwave of sound is huge and any night flying creature for example a bat would no doubt be severely traumatised and possibly killed.
    Same for Owls who would take flight and roosting birds.
    Summer firework shows and even private parties are increasingly common, with extremely loud detonations that can happen at anytime.
    This obviously is impossible to police and yes the RSPB can ask politely not to have Fireworks near sensitive wildlife sites but cannot stop it.

    But what about the damage to urban and suburban wildlife ? Bats and Owls can live in close proximity to human habitations and Fireworks must impact on them.
    The Tawny Owl is now an Amber listed species with long term population declines, who can prove fireworks aren't a contributing factor ?

    The chemical cocktail released by fireworks also poisons the local atmosphere and must affect moths and insect populations in close proximity as well as the explosions themselves, all prey species for bats in particular.

    The environmental damage done by fireworks is in my opinion unknown, but I suspect is an important contributing factor .
    I would like to see the RSPB's science behind their statement, instead of just believing what they publish...
  • It's not, in fact, that easy to police. If fireworks were banned entirely, for example, it would make it easier.

    Curious that "we", generally, accept that many domestic animals find fireworks distressing, even extremely distressing, but assume that wild animals will just think, "Wow, stormy tonight, eh?"

    Dave
  • In reply to David M:

    David M

    I fully follow your thoughts which is why I said I was surprised, and I feel the same, it is not fully understood plus I didn't agree nor disagree due to the lack of information. I've no doubt there is data out there, but not in that piece.

    I deliberately chose to say "I'm not qualified to pass an informed comment" because I'm not, my trade (which was the automotive industry and later years before retirement with prototypes) was not around this area, though like you, taking in the obvious realities, I feel more is required to fully understand the impacts.

    Why did it make sense?

    Having worked with data for many years, to ensure a project goes forward, its all too easy to get the numbers to tell the story you want to portray, something I saw and still see a lot with HS2, something I'm surrounded with. The desecration to nature has been worse than horrendous and all the government do is pay lip service to it.

    For close on two years whilst recovering from major leg surgery, I watched the televised parliamentary debates around this wanton destruction, and the way the data was portrayed was beyond belief!

    So looking at the twist in the scarce information in that piece, that is why I say it makes sense, but I didn't say I agreed with it.

    To quote Mark Twain: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics", which strangely enough was about a British politician!

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Dave - CH said:
    It's not, in fact, that easy to police. If fireworks were banned entirely, for example, it would make it easier.



    Curious that "we", generally, accept that many domestic animals find fireworks distressing, even extremely distressing, but assume that wild animals will just think, "Wow, stormy tonight, eh?"

    Dave

    I totally agree with you Dave.

    I often feel that is down to the old Victorian beliefs (a big bugbear of Britain) society still holds on many things, and only in recent years its been accepted that animals (that includes birds and other living creatures) do have emotion and do feel pain!

    Anyone who has had a dog, cat or many other larger animals as a pet, nurtured it and related to it, will tell how those animals feel and show emotion, share their owners emotions and respond accordingly.

    Since retirement, I've had time to watch the birds that visit the garden, and with the trailcams, the foxes that visit at night, and all show emotion in one way or another, particularly if the feeders are empty, they have that look as if to say, "come on then, get the food out..."

    Not that it surprised me in any way, but it does confirm my thoughts.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    I agree with you Mike.

    When I hear someone say something along the lines of, "Cats, it's just cupboard love, you know?" I always think it tells me more about the person than about cats.

    "Come on then, get the food out". They know how to tug on the heartstrings... 

  • https://www.fireworkskingdom.co.uk/occassions/silent-fireworks

    For a number of years anyone has been able to buy from some UK companies, fireworks called silent fireworks. Although not 100% silent! These are low noise fireworks. I have heard and seen these fireworks and they are a very good alternative with low noise and won’t frighten wild birds and animals along with anyone’s pets such as dogs and cats.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to THOMO:

    Broken link I think, Thomo.

    Interesting idea.  I wonder how they work.  I've known a few pyrotechnicians in my time (including one or two who are very well known), and my understanding was that fireworks basically have to go "bang".

    Dave

  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    The link is working ok for me on the RSPB Community. You can google silent fireworks and you will see a number of companies that sell silent/low noise fireworks. I first heard of these fireworks 3 years ago. Not sure how they work. But more publicity should be made about these silent/low noise fireworks.

    Regards,

    Ian.