Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

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Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Zep Tepi » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:14 pm

Hmm, what do we think about that?
The Press Association
Environmental service workers in the US have been picking up the carcasses of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town.

The birds had fallen on Friday night over a one-mile area of Beebe, 40 miles from Little Rock, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area.

The workers from US Environmental Services started the clean-up on Saturday, and confirmed the last dead bird was removed at 11am on Sunday morning.

...

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe said the birds showed signs of physical trauma, and speculated that "the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail".

The commission said that New Year's Eve revellers launching fireworks could have startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.


The story at the above link also states that speculation on the cause of the birds' deaths is not focusing on disease or poisoning. That would be a bit premature in my view.

So, sign of the apocalypse or something more down to earth? YOU decide ;)
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby ryguy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:28 pm

An entire flock of birds dying from "stress"?

I wonder if there's any precedent of such a thing in the past? I've never heard of fireworks causing flocks of birds to fall out of the sky or even cause "physical trauma" unless there's a direct hit? Although I wonder I'd imagine a Jet colliding with a flock would cause physical trauma...

There is an Air Force Base in Little Rock. Maybe one of those C-130 Combat Airlifts took out a flock of birds during an exercise....lol.
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Zep Tepi » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:55 pm

Yeah, I thought the stress explanation was a bit hair-brained too.
I don't know how much physical trauma there was, but I expect falling to the ground could be one of the reasons for that.

When something similar happened in Esperance a couple of years ago, the reason was due to lead poisoning. As I mentioned in the opening post however, officials have already ruled out poisoning. Quite bizarre really considering no tests have yet been carried out.
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby m0r1arty » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:34 pm

3 years ago, nearly to the day, thousands of birds apparently died over a few days in Esperance near Perth in Australia (725HM, in Oz is near).

No apparent cause was found and the number of, and variety of subsets of, birds was vast.

Of course these so far unexplainable things happen all the time. In Messignadi, Italy on May 15 in 1890 Charles Fort writes in his Book of the Damned of a rain of red liquid which was supposedly tested by the local health officials and found to be blood. Avian origin was their conclusion, taken from a freak storm which tore the birds to shreds mid-flight.

Odd stuff for sure and well worth investigating. I'd say in this case with poisoning already ruled out without any evidence put forward to valid its being ruled out, that investigation is not required due to the reason being known already - what it is though is anyone's guess at this point.

Could just be the paranoia in me though ;)

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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Luck » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:17 am

Thankfully the fireworks theory has been put to rest.

MSNBC is reporting that most likely explanation was a freak weather event. The director of the ornithology lab at Cornell University, John Fitzpatrick, says that "bad weather can occasionally catch flocks off guard, blow them off a roost, and they get hurled up suddenly into this thundercloud."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40885546/ns/us_news-environment/

It alls elaborates that poison was ruled out because that stomachs of the birds that were examined were empty. Also, local dogs and cats were observed to have been snacking on the fallen birds and were not exhibiting any ill effects.
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Access Denied » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:30 am

From the article Luck linked to...

Near Ozark, a town 125 miles from Beebe, up to 100,000 fish were found dead along the Arkansas River, leading to speculation of a connection.

:shock:

More here...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40887450/ns ... vironment/

The mass kill occurred just one day before thousands of blackbirds dropped dead from the sky in Beebe, Ark., which is 125 miles away.

Officials said 95 percent of the fish that died were drum fish — indicating that the likely cause of death was disease as only one species was affected.

"If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish," Stephens added.

It’s either a bizarre coincidence or The End Is Nigh! :)
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby ryguy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:58 am

Access Denied wrote:Officials said 95 percent of the fish that died were drum fish — indicating that the likely cause of death was disease as only one species was affected.

"If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish," Stephens added.


...Unless it was a pollutant (or chemical weapon) directed at a particular gene affecting only that species? Just saying...
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Luck » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:24 am

ryguy wrote:...Unless it was a pollutant (or chemical weapon) directed at a particular gene affecting only that species? Just saying...

The canary in the coal mine, perhaps?

If nothing else, it is making for some amusing headlines including my personal favorite:
"No Living Thing Safe in Arkansas"

More dead birds in Louisiana now too:
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/01/04/oddities-us-odd-dead-birds_8237395.html?boxes=Homepagebusinessnews
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Puppetburglar » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:11 am

Years ago I had dealings with the consulate of India in San Francisco. I recall a conversation over my reading a discarded Indian newspaper, in english, and laughing aloud about a very similar story. I was told by an employee that these events are, though by no means common, not unheard of. The story I read involved more than one kind of bird, and if I remember correctly, people gathered at the site to collect them, the event being considered a spiritual event, and pilgrims descended, as in India they do. I may still have this somewhere, as I collect forteana, and remember taking the paper with me.

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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:52 am

i remember reading about this similar incident last year: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... arden.html

thanks

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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby longhaircowboy » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:44 pm

I know what did those birds in. They were scared to death by a UFO.....I mean weather balloon.
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Access Denied » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:27 am

The plot thickens? Dead birds found in Sweden, Kentucky
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40921795/ns ... vironment/

On Wednesday, Kentucky wildlife officials said several hundred grackles, red wing blackbirds, robins and starlings were found dead last week in the western part of the state.

And…

To add to the mystery, 50-100 jackdaws, a bird species in the crow family, fell dead in central Sweden late Tuesday night, English-language Swedish news website The Local reported Wednesday.

However, it should be noted…

Mass bird deaths aren't uncommon. The U.S. Geological Service's website listed about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12.

There were five deaths of at least 1,000 birds, with the largest near Houston, Minnesota, where parasite infestations killed about 4,000 water birds between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26.

The moral of the story?

Clustering illusion
http://skepdic.com/clustering.html

Of course we don't have definitive causes yet so who knows?
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Luck » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:18 am

There's even more. Most of the die-offs today are listed here:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/is-it-an-animal-apocalypse-here-are-the-facts-and-theories-about-recent-mass-die-offs/story-e6frf7lf-1225983198265

Additionally, in Texas:
This is getting crazy. Another 200 dead birds have been found in the Texas town of Tyler. The dead birds were discovered along state highway 155. The birds are identified as American coots and the cause of death could not immediately be determined.

http://www.longislandpress.com/2011/01/06/dead-birds-more-dead-birds-in-texas/

And in Italy, large numbers of turtle doves have been found dead (warning, it was in Italian and it reads a little wonky because of Google Translate):
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.geapress.org%2F&act=url
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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:23 am

@ ryguy and Access Denied

maybe your countdown to the end of the world wasn't too early after all !. lol

thanks

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Re: Over 1000 birds fall from the sky in Arkansas

Postby Puppetburglar » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:19 am

Take account of the fact that, once a story like this bleeds into the media, others like it follow- and none of this may be peculiar at all, at all.
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