A lot of communities had a quiet Fourth of July, canceling fireworks displays and banning personal fireworks due to dry conditions and wildfire risks, but at least one community took those same precautions in order to protect the birds. According to OregonLive, Depoe Bay canceled its annual display because of the risk to seabird nesting colonies less than a mile from the launch site.
Disturbances to the nesting birds were first noticed in 2010, and in 2011 a survey was conducted during the fireworks display to gauge the birds' reactions to the pyrotechnics. Many nesting birds were frightened away from their eggs, which allowed predators to enjoy easy meals. Because the launch site is state land, Oregon Parks and Recreation did not issue the necessary permit for the show this year in order to preserve the Migratory Bird Act and safeguard the birds.
Many local businesses that had counted on the fireworks for a surge in business were disappointed, but the community pulled together to create other shopping, dining and entertainment attractions to invite visitors to spend the holiday.
Do you agree with canceling professional fireworks displays when bird colonies may be at risk? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Franco Folini