The harmful effects of Fireworks on Bats, Owls and Sparrows.

Raptor Politics received the question below from one of our regular followers. If anyone has any information on this subject please send in your comments and opinion.

Message: For many years I have been monitoring firework displays that are conducted near to several nature reserves I manage. This is due to having witnessed Pipistrelle bats being knocked out of the air and killed by sonic shock at a concert and firework display at Kenwood House in the 1990s. Last year I found 40 sparrows dead under a roost in a suburban garden where a neighbour had detonated public display fireworks the night before. I have also heard of an aviary of prize canaries killed either by sonic shock or the toxic fumes from fireworks.

On 5th Nov I was monitoring pipistrelle bats flying close to a public FW display when after a particularly loud explosion I heard the distress calls of a bird/animal in the woodland. On investigation I discovered a tawny owl fluttering and convulsing on the ground it died as I looked on. On examination it appeared free from external injuries and was in good condition. I can only assume that it was killed by the shock of the loud explosion which initiated the start of the Fireworks.

Given that bats and owls have particularly sensitive hearing I am convinced that fireworks do kill them. It would be interesting to see as to whether the increased popularity of large display fireworks has correlated with the demise of bats, owls and sparrows in suburban areas in the last 20yrs.

Kit Jones

4 comments to The harmful effects of Fireworks on Bats, Owls and Sparrows.

  • Rob Carleton

    Was at a town fireworks show this past Saturday night (6/29/13). Near the end of the grand finale a crumpled object came flying at me and hit me in the chest. I swiped it away with my hand, thinking it must be something hot from the fireworks show. 30 seconds later the show ended. I shined a flashlight on the object – it flew away – it was a little brown bat. I am concerned about rabies, although health professionals have told me no need for concern or to get treatment. Your thoughts?

  • My Facebook post;

    I hate to be a “Debbie Downer” yet I tell this story every year at the 4th of July. Several years ago, I worked for a woman as her garden helper. She lives on Altamont Road in the old Birmingham area. A few days after the 4th of July we were in her garden. She came to me with a dead brown bat in her hands and showed it to me. Distraught, I asked her what happened. She said it happens every year on the 4th of July. When they celebrate the 4th with fireworks shooting off of Red Mountain, when the bats are out for the evening, there are always bat casualties out there because of it. I’ve never liked the fireworks celebration anyway. That just gave me more reason to dislike. Jus’ sayin’.

  • Taong Grasa

    My owl is now lying on ground. Still alive but cant stand up. :(

    It is new years eve now here in the Philippines. I didn’t know that my cannon can harm her. It’s my fault. We should share this important article as many as we can to warn them. :(

  • paul williams

    If Guy Faulks had succeeded they would be banned!