The mysterious mass arrival of penguin-like birds on Spanish coasts has surprised and stumped experts
According to wildlife specialists, a number of “Alca torda” or “penguin birds” have been observed this week around the Spanish coast as well as in other Mediterranean countries like France and Corsica.
The Alca torda, a penguin-related species, typically resides year-round in the northwest of continental Europe, but it appears the birds may be altering their typical migration path as a result of the climate crisis.
The French League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) president, Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, claims that these pelagic (deep-sea) birds often travel in the open sea and only come ashore to reproduce.
LPO Bougrain-Dubourg observed, “It’s not only astonishing to see them on land, but especially to notice the unusual inflow of “penguin birds” in Spain and south-eastern France.”
Unfortunately, a lot of the birds that have been found in southern Europe have reached there in bad shape, and some have even been discovered dead.
Why these birds move to the Mediterranean has not yet been determined. Furthermore, it is unknown what brought on the illnesses that ultimately resulted in her death.
There are other possibilities that could explain this occurrence, as Bougrain-Dubourg notes.
One theory is that these birds have trouble finding food in northern waters, in part because there aren’t many fish to be found there. Birds must travel farther to locate fish for sustenance as a result of the acceleration of global warming.
Another theory put forward is that the migration of these birds to the Mediterranean could also be due to severe storms and strong winds, as well as increasing extreme weather phenomena. These conditions may have been removed from their usual habitat.
Whatever the reason that brought these animals to the Mediterranean coast, experts warn that these animals could be a reservoir of disease. Birds and animals have been proven to carry Covid-19.
“Many endemic birds like the ‘Alcas tordas’ that don’t have direct contact with humans like torda penguins are widely spread by avian influenza. It is therefore very important not to touch these animals,”