Wildlife Friendly Fourth of July

Welcome to Paytons Wildlife Tips, a monthly blog discussing different topics related to wildlife in Central Oregon. As you may know, the 4th fourth of July is almost here! Following Independence Day, many of us will be celebrating by lighting off fireworks. Though they may be beautiful, fireworks actually harm our local wildlife, with birds being particularly vulnerable during this time. In this month’s blog I will be talking about the effects of traditional fireworks on our local birds and how you can reduce their negative impact.

Every year on July fourth, fireworks light up the sky. But unlike us, birds do not appreciate the fireworks, or the noise that follows. The loud noise and bright light following fireworks can scare resting birds in surrounding areas. Consequently, birds can run into windows, trees, fences, and cars in their panic when trying to flee in the dark. This could result in death or permanent brain damage for the bird. It is also important to note that animal-ethics.org states when birds are forced to flee their nest, they abandon their young and expose them to predators in the midst of the panic. Even though studies show that Independence day fireworks cause less damage overall since most birds are not in flocks at this time, the event can still kill or cause damage to hundreds of birds that live independently.

With the current pandemic I understand that many will be choosing to celebrate at home this year. But one way you can help is by choosing another way to celebrate at home other than with fireworks. If you're not ready to give up this tradition, and if you are comfortable, it's recommended you just visit your local public firework display. Even though the large display still scares birds, if people restrain from having firework shows at their home, more birds can quickly find a new safe spot instead of having to flee from a variety of displays scattered around the area.

So when you're celebrating the fourth this year remember to keep our local wildlife in mind. Try participating in local events as opposed to celebrating at home to minimize any damage to our local wildlife and ecology. Thank you for reading Payton’s Wildlife tips!

If you discover an injured or orphaned animal please call Think Wilds hotline at 541-241-8680. 


  1. https://www.audubon.org/news/are-fireworks-dangerous-birds 
  2. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/29/737001802/this-4th-of-july-think-of-your-feathered-friends-as-you-plan-for-fireworks
  3. https://www.animal-ethics.org/how-fireworks-harm-nonhuman-animals/