Natural disasters like the forest fires raging in western Canada are extremely detrimental to not only the trees and foliage but to the inhabitants of these wooded areas, often injuring, killing and displacing thousands of animals. Often the result of extremely dry climate, forest fires ignite and can burn for months on end, even while being tirelessly fought by local, provincial and federal fire authorities.
As devastating as these disasters are, there are surprisingly enough, benefits that can come once a forest fire has been effectively controlled and extinguished. While the forest and its inhabitants can benefit, birds too can often end up on the winning end of a forest fire from years past. Here are a few benefits:
The old survival of the fittest adage comes into play with disasters like forest fires. As harsh as it may sound, at times these disasters can create a stronger species overall and opens up additional territory for these birds to flourish.
While the old food sources were wiped out, the slate is clean for fresh growth which is fantastic news for herbivorous species of birds. Forest fires will often leave an abundant amount of snags which will soon be full of insects are great for woodpeckers and nuthatches.
Given that birds travel through the air, they are usually the first to arrive at a recently burnt forest area and can really give them a head start on claiming new territory, nesting and raising young without as much risk.
Much like food sources, native plants traditionally used by birds for shelter are quick to regenerate and offer excellent homes to returning birds. Forest fires will also naturally create more edge habitats, a favourite of many birds, complete with fresh growth and food sources.
Birds are extremely resilient and have survived thousands of years of evolution and a variety of natural disasters. While these storms can be extremely damaging, we must always remember that nature will always rebound and flourish.