Camphor laurel and Sterility and Death of Birds 2

Oriole

DEATH-INCIDENTS OF ONE OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE AND TWO LEUWIN'S HONEYEATERS IN LISMORE CITY, NSW DURING DROUGHT TIMES 2002 & 2004

2004: A mysterious and suspicious death occurred to immature Olive-backed Oriole (see photo), after being picked up, still alive, but only just hopping, adjacent to and, apparently, having been underneath the known, analysed, MOST TOXIC Camphor laurel in all of Lismore (Magellan Street park tree) on 1st July 2004. Dissection of the bird revealed two Camphor laurel fruit, 2 Camphor laurel seeds and other fruit in-stomach. The bird died less than half an hour after being put in a cage. Robert Jordan of Magellan Street first found this bird and easily picked it up as it slowly hopped along. According to Robert, there appeared to have been no lopsidedness, or CNS damage, often found in dying birds from under Camphor laurel trees, or known to have consumed Camphor fruit shortly before death. Right-side paralysis to either a leg or a wing (RHS) or to both has been repeatedly observed in other rescued birds (sic) before they died (2002 2004). Only one bird, a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike has been truly 'rescued' from its toxification plight, in research studies in a relatively more toxic environment at The Channon (hillslopes with a preponderance of more-toxic known types), with birds commonly observed vomiting up Camphor laurel fruit at night, often into water troughs, vomit which is dry (seed and/or berries) and not wet vomit, that usually doesn't get noticed by Wildlife Carers.

CLEAR IMPLICATIONS AND INDICATIONS:

(1) The position of the dying bird (half an hour before it died) proximal to, and within fallen fruit (green and dried fruit) distance of the outer branches of Lismore's most toxic Camphor laurel, IMPLICATES the tree's chemistry, and its known extremely high CAMPHOR percentage (Kew Botanical Gardens, UK, Analysis) as causing the death of this bird by respiratory failure (Burrows & Tyrl, 2001, Toxic Plants of North America).

(2) The same tree has previously caused the deaths of other small and medium-sized birds, found dead under and adjacent to, within one metre of the trunk of this same Extremely Toxic Camphor laurel; also the other incidents occurred in a similar very dry period, in the drought of late summer 2002 (Leuwin's Honeyeaters).