- Maybe this is just a very strange coincidence with the
massive disappearance of the Honey Bee, but my Hummingbird population is
quickly dwindling. Normally at this time of year in the gorgeous and verdant
Rogue Valley of Oregon, I have to mount three Hummingbird feeders to nourish
a normal population of about 40 birds at my home alone.
- I have maybe four left, and this is the height of the
breeding season. Today, my wife, Liz, saw one particularly large Hummingbird
flying erratically, as if disoriented.
- This Spring yielded a bounty of wild flowers, due to
the late, wet weather that continues even today. We change out the sugar
water in our feeders regularly if not emptied in the normal time frame,
because if left too long, the sugar water ferments and can cause harm to
a Hummingbird's liver.
- When we first heard about West Nile Disease, we were
told that the only members of the bird family susceptible to it were in
theCorvus realm, meaning Ravens, Crows, Jays, Magpies, etc. Most
recently we read that Robins and House Wrens were also susceptible to West
Nile. What about Hummingbirds?
- When West Nile first infected the Rogue Valley, people
were finding dead Jays and Crows all over the place. Now I'm concerned
that if Hummingbirds are also susceptible to West Nile, the perfect place
to spread the disease among them would be a Hummingbird feeder.
- Just to be safe, and because the Hummingbird population
has dropped so drastically at my home, we are going to sterilize our feeders
and put them away for the season, but before that, we'll have our feeders
examined for the West Nile Virus.
- Our Honey Bees have been replaced by another breed of
flower-feeding bee that is completely different, but just the other day
I did spot what appeared to be a regular European Honey Bee on some flowers
in the back yard. It was the first I've seen in about two years,
but I cannot discount that it came from a commercial hive.
- I intend to research this matter further, and will let
you know what I find. Any information you might have would be very welcome.
- Carl F. Worden
- Hi Jeff,
- With regard to your hummingbird article: http://www.rense.com/general76/beesan.htm
- Did I find this old Wash Post article on pesticides toxic
to sucking insects on your site originally, or was it another alternative
news board? Anyway, I wonder if toxins targeting sucking insects would
also affect sucking birds:
- "Diana Cox-Foster, an entomologist testifying before
the House subcommittee on horticulture and organic agriculture, raised
concerns about a class of pesticide now in broad use and known to be highly
toxic to bees. Synthetic versions of nicotine poisons, they include the
popular imidacloprid, used extensively as a systemic pesticide on sucking
insects. It was banned in France after authorities there claimed a link
between its use and honeybee disorientation."
- Also, here's another interesting link on an upcoming
"Wal-Mart" art museum: