More Than 1,000 Dead Red-Winged Blackbirds Fall From The Sky
The town of Beebe, Arkansas, had a nasty surprise this New Year’s Eve. By midnight, more than 1,000 dead red-winged blackbirds had fallen out of the sky on to city streets.
Streets Covered With Corpses Of Dead Birds
From The New York Daily News:
Dozens of lawns, streets and rooftops for more than a mile in Beebe, Ark., were covered with the corpses of red-winged black birds. An aerial survey showed that no other dead birds were found outside that area.
Beebe residents describe the scene as something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film, and the town’s mayor, Mike Robertson, said he and other officials initially thought news of the birds was a New Year’s prank.
“I thought the mayor was messing with me when he called me,” Milton McCullar, a town street supervisor, told local television station KATV. “He got me up at 4′oclock in the morning and told me we had birds falling out of the sky.”
Lightning Or Hail?
What on earth could have caused such an event?
As first reported by the BBC, according to Arkansas Fish and Game ornithologist Karen Rowe, the birds could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail.
Or Maybe Fireworks?
Then again, it was New Year’s Eve. Could setting off fireworks have something to do with this bizarre occurrence?
“Since it only involved a flock of blackbirds and only involved them falling out of the sky, it is unlikely they were poisoned, but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin,” Ms. Rowe stated, explaining why 65 dead birds had been sent off for scientific analysis.
Last Year It Was Dead Starlings
Similar events have happened before: last March, in a quiet British town, about a hundred starlings dropped out of the sky, dying; and in January of 2010, the same thing happened in Franklin Township, New Jersey.
However the mystery is resolved, this is not an auspicious beginning of the new year for Beebe, AK, which was one of the cities declared a disaster area just a year ago, after severe storms and flooding.
Let’s hope they find the cause of death of these pretty birds.
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