The March/April 2020 edition of my 'Bird Nerd' column in the wonderful Australian Geographic Magazine is now available. This article is called 'Fire: Friend and Foe', and talks about the impacts that bushfires, including the recent devastating 2019/2020 fires in Vic, NSW, Qld and SA, have on birds.
Although some bird species need low intensity fires at a certain interval, high intensity, frequent fires can cause species' extinctions. Other species, like the Black Kite and Brown Falcon benefit from fire in another way. These raptors feed on insects and small vertebrates that flee the flames. Unfortunately, the Black Kite was incorrectly named in the article but, hey, accidents happen in the heat of battle.
You can help organisations like Concervation Volunteers Australia, Birdlife Australia and WWF Australia support the recovery from of our wildlife and ecosystems. More information can be found in my blog post Bushfire Recovery.
In the words of the legendary Henry Lawson:
“It is daylight again, and the fire is past, and the black scrub silent and grim,
Except for the blaze of an old dead tree, or the crash of a falling limb…”
(from The Bush Fire)