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Where did the birds go?

  1. May 10, 2008 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I posted this here because I am not sure what category is appropriate. Ok, here is the problem:

    Most of you are probably familiar with the historical records as they apply to the bombing of Hiroshima during WW2. I have been studying this period for a very long time and I can't seem to find any evidence of dead birds at Hiroshima after the bombing. The historical record says that the destruction there was the product of a near-instantaneous high altitude blast of great magnitude. Hiroshima has 7 water deltas entering the city which suggests to me the presence of multitudes of birds especially seagulls. Why no birds scattered in the streets, why no bird shadows on walls or streets, where did they go and how could they leave before the blast? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have other physics questions on this same topic so I would like to know where they should be posted, thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2008 #2


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    Birds in the air would probably have been blown away by the blast and the bodies scatered over a wide area where they would have been eaten by cats/dogs/rats etc.
    Birds nearby would probably have been burnt to nothing, it doesn't take much to completely destroy a small bird - if my experience barbecuing chicken legs is any guide!
  4. May 10, 2008 #3


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    Even people disintegrated when they were close to the explosion. So birds would disintegrate as well. I did see a picture with a horse that had died but I really think the focus was more on the people, so even if animals did die, it wasn't their main priority.
  5. May 10, 2008 #4
    I have examined aerial views of Hiroshima post-bombing and discovered that the streets were relatively free of debris. This suggests to me that the patterns of force drove the energy directly below.

    Would these animals (cats/dogs/rats etc) not have been killed or shocked unconscious by the blast?

    If this were the case would it not follow logically that the small human appendages would have been completely destroyed too? I mean I have never seen pictures of hands or feet completely burned off and many corpses and survivors had hair still on their heads. I appreciate your answer.
  6. May 10, 2008 #5
    Are you suggesting that all the birds were near the epicentre at the time of the blast?

    I saw the pictures of the dead horses too. Wasn't the main priority the documenting of the damage and casualties? I mean even if the birds were not the highest priority one could hardly avoid having their dead carcasses littering the entire region and finding themselves included in the record somehow, is that an unreasonable expectation?
  7. May 11, 2008 #6


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    did I say "all"? no.

    I was refering to the birds that were at the epicenter at the time of the blast. Those, would have had the same fate as the humans in the vicinity at the time.
    Well, if there are many people burned/maimed and their country was shocked by this "unknown" weapon and thus in chaos, no I do not think that your first thought would be to "count the birds."

    factors that may have affected this would be: bird size, bird concentrations

    something that I found below
  8. May 11, 2008 #7


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    Solved: http://ussslcca25.com/crosroad.htm
    Search the page (middle of it) for the info which talks of this.
    Only 10% of the animals died from the impact. The rest survived. The rest died later from the radiation. (slowly)
  9. May 11, 2008 #8
    Does this help?

    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/eh/8.2/tsutsui.html" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  10. May 11, 2008 #9
    Forgive me if my previous post lacked clarity but I was basically interested in discovering the fate of MOST birds in the affected area not just a few near the epicentre.

    If you check the post made a bit further by another member you will discover that there was an interest in counting the birds. I was not aware of this census nor do I have independent corroboration for those figures presented but I doubt one needs to have an interest in counting birds to note that they are tripping all over dead birds or not.

    Of course. That's why I specificaly noted the fact that Hiroshima would have attracted many birds because of the 7 water deltas creeping into the core of the city itself. Vegetation was abundant as was the food supplies for these birds which would stimulate reproduction in ways not found in arid climates far removed from major waterways.

    Thanks for the link, I will check it out first chance I get and share my impressions with the readers. Here are a few quotes and links I have in my possession:

    From: only allowed to post URLs to other sites after you have made 15 posts or more.

    From:eek:nly allowed to post URLs to other sites after you have made 15 posts or more.

    From: only allowed to post URLs to other sites after you have made 15 posts or more.

    These three sites have little value in that they claim people could see birds burst into flames in mid-air at the same time as a blinding flash of light was occurring. It is illogical.
  11. May 11, 2008 #10

    The point I made when I started the thread was that in ALL the pictures (I have examined hundreds) I never once saw a dead bird on the ground in the streets or anywhere else in the affected areas photographed right after the bombing. I have not yet read the info at the link you provided (thanks) but could you tell me what number of birds they estimate were flying, nesting,walking in Hiroshima at that very moment in time. How many birds is the 10% supposed to represent do you think?
  12. May 11, 2008 #11
    Thanks for the quote. The problem would be solved if ALL the birds in Hiroshima fell into the category stipulated in the quote. How many millions of other types of bigger birds like seagulls, cranes, eagles, ducks, orogami etc do not fall in that category yet must have been present in great numbers at the date in question? In my estimation I find it completely impossible that none of the hundreds of post-bombing pictures of Hiroshima that I have examined have not a single dead bird carcass lying on the ground or floating in the boiling waters of the 7 deltas. We see bodies littered all over the ground and multitudes floating in the deltas but no birds. Of course your explanation is very informative and I have no reason not to believe the facts stated but we are still at a great loss to explain what happened to the millions of other birds not covered by the explanation provided in your quote.
  13. May 11, 2008 #12
    Japan was subjected to very intense firebombing in many cities and populated areas. What is surprising in my estimation is that the forces of occupation would expect to find lots of birds where desolation and scarecity of food existed. The logical explanation for the absence of birds would be that they retreated to higher grounds, mountains and places where the war was having the least influence.
  14. May 11, 2008 #13

    Chi Meson

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    Even if no single explanation is satisfactory to you, try considering them all at the same time. I hope you are not predetermined to find the outcome you want in the first place.

    I for one have no problem with not seeing birds in those photographs. If you intend to produce evidence for birds' preternatural ability to sense imminent disaster (or anything like that), then you have a bit more work to do in order to convince me.

    A songbird is small. I rarely notice a dead bird, even a relatively large one like a robin, until I am practically standing over it. I have also noticed that when I have seen a dead seagull or duck floating in the water, I can't tell what it is until it is very close. Dead birds do not look like birds; half their volume appears to be their puffed feathers. When the feathers are wet or otherwise flattened, they appear very different.

    So to say that there are " no birds" in any of the hundreds of photos you have looked at, then an enormous burden of proof is on you to show that every single object (including anything that might look like a stone, or a crumpled piece of cardboard) is NOT a bird. That is an exhausting task, I know, and nearly impossible since the resolution of most of those photos would not be able to definitively show a distinction between a two-inch clod of dirt and a finch that had been knocked out of the sky.
  15. May 11, 2008 #14
    I imagine at the time and for the interest level that birds weren't very high on the 'importance' level to be photographed or documented.
  16. May 11, 2008 #15


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    As others have suggested, what is the resolution of the photographs you are examining? Old black and white photos from the WWII era are usually grainy at best. If the shot is a wide enough angle to have captured any birds in addition to people in the area of the photograph, the size and resolution of the photo may simply have been inadequate for the birds to be clearly seen. Likewise, if the photos are close-up shots, birds may have been excluded from the photo to keep the focus on the people.

    Here's the way this site works. The person making a specific claim has the burden of proof to support their claim. If you're claiming there are no birds in photographs, then the burden of proof is on you to convince us this is really the case, that there really are no birds in those photographs...such as by providing links to examples of photographs where we can consider if there is any reason to expect to be able to find birds in them even if they were present. You're asking us to explain why there were no birds, but have not met your burden of proof that there weren't any. There may be no explanation if there was no absence of birds in the first place.
  17. May 11, 2008 #16
    Someone can take 1000 photographs in any city and not have birds in them; and, maybe 10,000 photos out in some 'desert' and not have birds in those either.


    I guess what I'm asking is: is there a specific reason why you are so interested in looking for birds in the photos? and, why so defensive at the suggestions given?
    Last edited: May 11, 2008
  18. May 11, 2008 #17
    I see your tribal affiliates are helping you win your arguments by removing my answers to you. I have made my point and need not post here anymore. Winning arguments by slashing posts is the coward's way out. Thanks for nothing.
  19. May 11, 2008 #18


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    I see you had one post deleted for insults.

    How did I miss this thread?
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