News From Wasaga Beach – Seabird Die-Off

On the weekend, Erich Bauer and his wife Rita stopped at Wasaga Beach on their way home from their cottage. Following is a note about what they found and some pictures:

Carnage - R. Bauer

Hello Rick,
we made a detour to Wasaga Beach and Allendale Beach on the way from the cottage.
These are some of the pictures of the horrific devastation we saw.
The media did report that ducks geese and seagulls were affected and the MNR comments that this might be due to Botulism. Specimen have been sent to Guelph.
Botulism thrives in low oxygen environments often found in zebra mussel colonies and we certainly saw tons of zebra mussels on shore.
Interestingly, we did not even see one dead seagull, though we did see them feeding on the dead ducks.
We saw hundreds of dead birds, but only 4 species were involved.
90% were Long-tailed Ducks, the rest were Common Loons, Red-necked Grebes and Horned Grebes. There were only a few dead fish on the beach, which would be common at this time of the year.
Eric and Rita

Long-tailed Duck - R. Bauer

Red-necked Grebe - R. Bauer

Common Loon - R. Bauer

Walking the beach becomes a macabre exercise.

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