Shock of fireworks kills prized birds

Picture by Ian Mutch

Picture by Ian Mutch

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A disabled man who relies on his birds for companionship was distraught to find two of them dead following a nearby private fireworks display.

The Splendid Parakeets were part of a new colour line that is now lost due to the sad demise of the birds.

Picture by Ian Mutch

Picture by Ian Mutch

Mike Geddes, Carnoustie, struggles to keep up with the latest breeders due to his disability and is upset that the circumstances have 
set him back further.

He believes a nearby fireworks display in a neighbour’s garden was the cause of the birds’ death.

“I take my bird breeding seriously, I suffer from mental health issues and they are a lifeline for me. It has hit me quite hard to be honest.

“It is very important to me, my hobby, I’ve got that, and my two dogs and that’s about all I have.

Mike Geddes birds died after the shock of nearby fireworks.

Mike Geddes birds died after the shock of nearby fireworks.

“I had taken what precautions I could to prevent this, but the flashes and bangs were obviously too much for these two birds, one of which came from Holland,” said Mr Geddes.

Animal charity, the Blue Cross advises bird owners to cover any aviaries with thick blankets or a duvet to block out the sight of the fireworks and deaden the sound of the bangs. Advice also states that turning on the TV or radio may help, in order to block out some of the noise.

Birds such as these are susceptible to disturbance particularly from loud noises.

“The birds were on edge anyway,” Mr Geddes explained. “I can’t bring them into the house as there are too many. I take all the precautions such as leaving a radio running until midnight, all on timers.

“I don’t think people realise the effect they have on animals.”

According to the Scotland’s animal welfare charity, SSPCA, thousands of animals suffer as a result of fireworks being let off.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We’ve been made aware of numerous incidents over the years where animals have come to serious harm and even death as a result of fireworks being set off near them.”

“The current legal noise limit for a firework is 120 decibels. To put this into perspective, a pneumatic drill measures around 100 decibels and people are advised to wear ear protectors when exposed to anything above 80 decibels.

“Animals have heightened senses and their hearing is much stronger than ours. The bang from a firework is terrifying to an animal and can cause extreme distress.”

The Blue Cross suggest that due consideration to neighbours can prevent the types of tragedy that Mr Geddes has experienced: “Be thoughtful by warning neighbours in advance so they can make the necessary arrangements for their pets.”