does releasing balloons kill birds

Balloon releases celebrate happy events or commemorate something significant in our lives, but balloons mean big trouble for birds and other wildlife.

And by understanding how balloons endanger our avian friends, you can help minimize the risks they pose.

Use safer alternatives in place of balloons, such as blowing bubbles, dove releases, falconry birds, or wild bird releases to commemorate important events.

Lasting Impact of Balloons on Birds

Not only are balloon releases a great idea for weddings, birthday celebrations, and anniversaries.

Hundreds of latex balloons are released at many sporting events, such as college football games, to mark the beginning of a new season.

Fortunately, many communities across the U. S. acknowledge the enduring effects of balloons on wildlife, birds, and the environment; outlaw the sale of balloons and their release.

And it’s not just birds impacted by balloons.

Balloons negatively impact sea turtles, dolphins, whales, seals, and sharks.

does releasing balloons kill birds

Dangers Balloon Releases Pose to Birds

There are no images of injured or dead birds in this “safe” story.

All kinds of birds are affected by balloon releases, including songbirds, raptors, and seabirds, and the effects of balloon contact can be disastrous.

Here are a few ways balloons hurt birds:

The most common way balloons harm birds is through ingestion.

Seabirds, including gannets, shearwaters, albatrosses, and petrels, confuse floating balloon fragments for jellyfish or squid due to their vivid colors and frayed ends.

Pieces of latex or mylar that a bird eats get stuck in its digestive tract and stop it from eating.

When the bird doesn’t get enough food to survive, it slowly starves to death.

When balloons with ribbons or strings tangle in bushes or trees, it poses a hazard to birds.

If birds use the string as nesting material, it can tangle around the nestlings and entangle them if they fly into it.

Tangle injuries stunt the growth of nestlings.

The tangle constricts the bird’s legs, wings, or bill, causing chafing that results in open wounds.

The bird suffers from tangles, which increases their susceptibility to infections and predators.

The balloon industry claims latex balloons are safe to release.

They argue that they ascend to a height of five miles before disintegrating into minuscule fragments that pose no threat to the environment.

Despite what the balloon industry claims, balloons are not biodegradable, and they are the only business that actively promotes littering with their products.

A balloon that has been thrown away deflates and stays in place in the surroundings for a considerable amount of time.

Latex balloons fall to the ground as unsightly litter that looks to birds and other wildlife like a tempting meal.

People who release balloons turn the environment into a landfill where birds and other wildlife suffer greatly. Balloon litter also outlives the person who releases it.

Although balloons are wonderful for many occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and graduations, many animals may be in danger if they come loose.

Balloons are frequently mistaken for food by birds, turtles, and other animals, which can hurt or even kill them.

Furthermore, a lot of animals can tangle themselves in balloon strings, which can cause them to strangle themselves or damage their hands and feet. For instance, at Edwin B. recently, more than a hundred balloons were collected. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey during a cleanup—and those are the only people who showed up at this specific beach.

Although some of the following images are difficult to look at, they demonstrate why everyone should find an alternative to letting a balloon go more clearly than any words could.


Can balloons kill birds?

Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. In addition, many animals can become entangled in balloon strings, which can strangle them or hurt their feet and hands.

Are balloon releases bad news for wildlife?

Some wild animals become entangled in balloon strings, which inhibits their normal movement and foraging behavior and can ultimately lead to death. Downed balloons or balloon fragments are also often ingested by some wild animals who mistake the balloons as an edible food source.

Why shouldn’t you release balloons?

Balloons contribute to our plastic pollution problem. Although balloons only take moments to release, they could take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Over time, these balloon pieces get smaller and smaller and eventually turn into microplastics. Balloons also harm marine life because they’re often ingested by animals.

What states is it illegal to release balloons?

CVW Balloon release legislation. Mass release of balloons is illegal in several states and cities, including Virginia. Jurisdictions that have laws in effect dealing with balloon releases include: Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, New York, Texas, California and Virginia.