Balloons Rise, Birds Fall

balloons calm clouds colorful
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

Whenever I see a whole lot of balloons being released, somehow my first thought isn’t about the celebration they are marking. It is about all the birds, etc. they will injure and possibly kill. Those balloons eventually deflate and fall into the water. There, as brightly colored pieces of plastic, they attract the attention of seabirds and other creatures, who think they are prey, such as squid, etc.  If the seabirds eat enough plastic or mylar, they cannot digest it and they will eventually starve due to lack of nourishment.

Another way balloons can harm birds is if they have strings or ribbons attached. Sometimes the birds fly into the string and get tangled in it. They often use them for making their nests, and unwittingly pose choking or tangling hazards for their chicks. When such tangling occurs, it often stunts chicks’ proper growth.

We can prevent these results from happening by releasing trained doves, using decorative sparklers, or using balloons not filled with helium that will fall so that they can be collected before they do harm to wildlife.

Let’s keep the skies safe for birds and fun for us. 



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