Invasion crested suicide


20.01.12.V Siberian city of mixed and coniferous forests in a lot of small birds flew, which experts consider "prone to mass suicide."

A few years ago, these unusual for urban birds whole flocks of broken glass. The situation could be repeated.

Suicidal birds are called waxwings. Their nesting grounds are located mainly north of Novosibirsk. Their flight south observed in October and early November. In some years, waxwings winter long delayed in all cities of the south of Western Siberia. But now they are seen rarely. In any case, in Novosibirsk. This is despite the abundant harvest of mountain ash and Ranetok in city parks, squares and alleys.

— The name "waxwing" probably onomatopoeic: derived from the muted peresvista or trills that publish a flock of birds — said an employee of the Novosibirsk Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals ornithologist Alex Yanovsky. — They are easily distinguished from other species and on other grounds, and not only by his voice: waxwings pretty gullible people allowed near close enough so that you can review and distinctive crest of feathers and parts of painting. Striking red-pink plaques on the tips of the feathers in the middle of the wing. Adult males of the same bright decorations formed at the ends of the tail quills.

In flight, a flock of waxwings most similar to a group of starlings: the size, frequency sweeps and construction in the form of a swarm — these traits in two species are very similar. However waxwings afar not black, but brown. Simultaneously in Novosibirsk these types almost never occur, except that in some years in late March or early April, their paths intersect here. Starlings prefer to nest in the south of the forest zone, and waxwings spring keep the path to the north — to the taiga and tundra. "

It should be noted that in one winter brought in Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the wounded waxwing, who took the cat in the street of the Mountain. Bird was on hand aluminum ring with a Swedish address. Ornithologists have found that it ringed near Stockholm exactly one year before the event. So for waxwing distance of several thousand miles — no problem. At one year, he can spend the winter in Siberia, in a year — in Europe.

A few years ago it was Waxwings staged a stir in many Siberian cities. Ornithologists call this natural anomaly. Handsome bird in broad daylight at high speed crashed into the mirrored walls of modern buildings. Whole flocks …

The first bird's suicide, which registered professionals, occurred in Berdsk Novosibirsk region. In a large window high school, located on the third floor, right during training at full speed and crashed into a flock of waxwings. In the eyes of children instantly killed 18 birds. This incident caused a stir at school. Pupils along with teachers poured out of the building and tried to save a few fluttering in the frosty pavement tiny birds, but alas. Feathered corpses buried children in the school yard.

Since then, the mass suicides in Siberia waxwings began to occur regularly. So, in Biysk (Altai region) several dozen birds, naklevavshis rowan berries near the building of the 4th city hospitals struggled to the window, and then died. Witnessed the incident, dozens of doctors and hospital patients. In place of the mass deaths of birds arrived Territorial Administration veterinary specialists. As the correspondent then Deputy Chief Minister Ivan Meshcheryakov, waxwings at autopsy showed signs of chemical poisoning. Experts do not rule out the possibility that the chemical agents could get to the fruits of mountain ash, along with precipitation.

Another case of mass death of waxwings was recorded in Novokuznetsk, where during the harvest area at the administrative building of "JUzhkuzbassugol" found a lot of dead birds of this species. Death was due to traumatic injury: they crashed, Flight to the bright light of a billboard in the dark. And two weeks before that a similar incident with the same species of birds were identified in Osinniki (also Kemerovo region).

After that, mass suicides began in Novosibirsk. Flocks of waxwings at high speed crashed into a glass house and died. Ornithologist Alex Janowski told the, that among the possible causes of suicide waxwings can name a few factors.

Main — schooling behavior when in the rapid flight of birds follow the "leader" who really are not to be, as is ahead by accident. Putative leader flies, not seeing the real obstacles killed himself and doomed to destruction of others. Absurdity of such behavior, "the leader", in turn, may be due to a violation of his vision and coordination because of intoxication, an illness or as a result of weather-, geo-and helio-physical anomalies — say, the same magnetic storms at high solar activity.

There is a theory that the violation of their coordination in flight are due to eating fermented berries. Alex Janowski said in Yekaterinburg and other cities analyzed waxwings killed influenza viruses and found no evidence of disease. In Biysk experts concluded the poisoning of birds of pesticides deposited on the brush ash.

Ilya Inzov

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