Did mutton birds die in Japan?:
Mutton birds, which are also called shearwaters or titi, are the most common sea birds in New Zealand. Each year they spend the northern hemisphere summer in Japan, close to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Department of Conservation says that only about two thirds of the mutton birds returned to New Zealand after the summer in Japan and many of them were in poor condition. It is possible that they could not get enough food or were affected by radio-activity.
Meanwhile people living near beaches on the west coast of Canada and USA are finding debris from the tsunami. A Canadian found a Harley-Davidson motorbike in a crate, along with golf clubs. A Japanese Harley-Davidson dealer heard about this and managed to find the owner. The owner is a 29-year old man who lost his home and three members of his family in the tsunami.
Experts say that people can expect to find debris from the tsunami for the next two years. About 5 million tonnes of debris – from buildings, cars and trees – washed into the ocean. The heavy things sank to the bottom of the sea but lighter things are still floating on the ocean.
Department of Conservation – DoC protects our environment including birds.
affected by – changed
debris – broken things after a flood e.g. pieces of timber, branches and leaves from trees (Note: this word is borrowed from French so we do not pronounce the final ‘s’.)
dealer – someone who sells these products
washed into the ocean – carried – with force – by water
sink, sank, sunk – dropped to the bottom. Opposite is ‘floated’.