View Full Version : New Mystery As More Birds Drop Dead In US

David Guyatt
01-04-2011, 09:26 PM


Hundreds of birds have dropped dead from the sky in Louisiana just days after a similar mysterious incident left scientists baffled in Arkansas. Skip related content

New Mystery As More Birds Drop Dead In US

The carcasses of around 500 red-winged blackbirds were found littering a quarter-mile stretch of road in Pointe Coupee, The Advocate reported.

The state borders Arkansas where some 3,000 blackbirds died in unexplained circumstances three days ago.

The remains of some of the birds found dead in Louisiana are being taken away for testing.

A woman several hundred miles away in Kentucky has also reported finding dozens of dead birds in her garden.

The mass deaths in Beebe, Ark, Arkansas, have puzzled scientists and wildlife experts.

Witnesses reported seeing the birds falling from the sky late on December 31 into early January 1.

Around 100,000 fish were also found dead along a river 125 miles away although scientists are not linking the cases.

Officials are looking at various possibilities as to why the birds dropped dead - including being startled by fireworks, stress or hit by hail or lightning.

Tests on the birds found in Arkansas showed they suffered internal injuries that formed blood clots leading to their deaths, The Associated Press reported.

US scientists believe New Year's Eve fireworks may have forced the birds to fly low to avoid explosions, leading them to collide with objects.

High winds and tornadoes also struck Arkansas on December 31, with the hardest-hit area more than 150 miles to the west of Beebe.

Charles Drago
01-04-2011, 10:31 PM
Where's Alfred Hitchcock when you need him?

Magda Hassan
01-04-2011, 10:54 PM
Don't know about this source at all but here it is.

Top US Official Murdered After Arkansas Weapons Test Causes Mass Death (http://www.eutimes.net/2011/01/top-us-official-murdered-after-arkansas-weapons-test-causes-mass-death/)

Posted by EU Times (http://www.eutimes.net/author/admin/) on Jan 4th, 2011

A shocking report prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Foreign Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRU)) states that one of the United States top experts in biological and chemical weapons was brutally murdered after he threatened to expose a US Military test of poison gas that killed hundreds of thousands of animals in Arkansas this past week.
According to this report, John P. Wheeler III (http://cryptogon.com/?p=19640), Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. from 2005-2008, when he became the Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Environment, was found brutally murdered and dumped in a landfill, and as we can read as reported by Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/03/bush-aide-dead-landfill/)

Jack White
01-04-2011, 11:58 PM
I live high on hill overlooking a small lake. Every winter for 40 years
thousands of migrating ducks stop on the lake for several hours before
proceeding southward. This winter so far, NARY A DUCK. Something odd
must be going on. (Too many chemtrails?)

This morning I saw six great white herons that stopped for a few hours,


Magda Hassan
01-05-2011, 12:46 AM
I'm certainly not buying the 'fireworks' story. We have huge fireworks displays in Sydney for many years now and it is right next to two large areas where birds congregate and never have there been any trouble for any birds. Same for the fish in Sydney harbor. No mass deaths at all from the fireworks.

Bernice Moore
01-05-2011, 02:17 AM
the ducks are here Jack, it appears they do not want to say the word enviroment, for some unknown reason, if mentioned it is quickly passed by,yes there are manys a huge fire works display one being in a park near here, the trees are full of birds it is the middle of the hot summer, it does not affect them, i figure they use ear plugs and dark glasses that evening, till those strange noisy people, move along...b:kraka:

Jack White
01-05-2011, 04:42 AM

Bernice Moore
01-05-2011, 05:54 AM
THANK you Jack, dire warnings no matter how one looks at such, take care..b

Peter Lemkin
01-05-2011, 07:39 AM
Don't know about this source at all but here it is.

Well, if true.....if.....would tie together nicely two of our threads. As a scientist, I can't buy any of the reasons given. Even if they were to happen in one place [say lightning] the chances of the same happening soon after in another place are too small to calculate. This was some man-made event, IMO. Perhaps blowing in the wind........along with the answer.

Magda Hassan
01-05-2011, 02:04 PM

Peter Lemkin
01-05-2011, 05:20 PM

First the bees, now the birds....hmmmm......well all life forms are doomed unless humans stop doing what they are doing...but such a rapid response was not expected.

Jan Klimkowski
01-05-2011, 06:30 PM
The Prison Planet piece makes some factual claims:

Around 2,000 red-winged blackbirds, as well as ducks, fell to their deaths over a 1-mile area of Beebe, Arkansas on Friday night. U.S. Environmental Services workers wore hazmat suits and gas masks as they picked up the dead birds on Sunday.

An area used by the birds to roost was unaffected, leading officials to conclude that the birds could not have died from an illness or have been targeted for poisoning. Lightning, fireworks and high-altitude hail have been forwarded as possible culprits.

Here's an MSNBC article with further factual claims:

No poison found in birds that fell on town

First tests suggest midair collision, but why still isn't certain; number raised to at least 4,000

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/3/2011 3:23:17 PM ET 2011-01-03T20:23:17

BEEBE, Ark. — Preliminary autopsies on 17 of the up to 5,000 blackbirds that fell on this town indicate they died of blunt trauma to their organs, the state's top veterinarian told NBC News on Monday.

Their stomachs were empty, which rules out poison, Dr. George Badley said, and they died in midair, not on impact with the ground.

That evidence, and the fact that the red-winged blackbirds fly in close flocks, suggests they suffered some massive midair collision, he added. That lends weight to theories that they were startled by something.

Earlier Monday, the estimated number of dead birds was raised to between 4,000 and 5,000, up sharply from the initial estimate of 1,000.

Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, provided the new numbers.

Residents of the small town of Beebe awoke Saturday to find thousands of dead blackbirds littering a 1.5-square-mile area. The birds inexplicably dropped dead, landing on homes, cars and lawns.

Violent weather rumbled over much of the state Friday, including a tornado that killed three people in Cincinnati, Ark. Lightning could have killed the birds directly or startled them to the point that they became confused. Hail also has been known to knock birds from the sky.

The director of Cornell University's ornithology lab in Ithaca, N.Y., said the most likely suspect is violent weather. It's probable that thousands of birds were asleep, roosting in a single tree, when a "washing machine-type thunderstorm" sucked them up into the air, disoriented them, and even fatally soaked and chilled them.

"Bad weather can occasionally catch flocks off guard, blow them off a roost, and they get hurled up suddenly into this thundercloud," lab director John Fitzpatrick said.

Rough weather had hit the state earlier Friday, but the worst of it was already well east of Beebe by the time the birds started falling, said Chris Buonanno, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.

If weather was the cause, the birds could have died in several ways, Fitzpatrick said. They could easily become disoriented — with no lights to tell them up and down — and smack into the ground. Or they could have died from exposure.

The birds' feathers keep them at a toasty 103 degrees, but "once that coat gets unnaturally wet, it's only a matter of minutes before they're done for," Fitzpatrick said.

Lightning or hail are also possibilities.

Karen Rowe, an ornithologist for the state commission, noted that in 2001 lightning killed about 20 mallards at Hot Springs, and a flock of dead pelicans was found in the woods about 10 years ago. Lab tests showed that they, too, had been hit by lightning.

Moreover, in 1973 hail knocked birds from the sky at Stuttgart, Ark. Some of the birds were caught in a violent storm's updrafts and became encased in ice before falling from the sky.

Rowe noted that birds of prey and other animals, including dogs and cats, ate several of the dead blackbirds and suffered no ill effects.

"Every dog and cat in the neighborhood that night was able to get a fresh snack that night," Rowe said.

Mike Robertson, the mayor in Beebe, said the last dead bird was removed about 11 a.m. Sunday in the town about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock. A dozen workers hired by the city to do the cleanup wore environmental-protection suits for the task.

Robertson said the workers wore the suits as a matter of routine and not out of fear that the birds might be contaminated.

"It started at 7 a.m., picking up birds on the street, in the yards, been run over. It's just a mess," Beebe Street Department supervisor Milton McCullar told WISC-TV.

Video: In Arkansas, it rained dead birds
Several hundred thousand red-winged blackbirds have used a wooded area in the town as a roost for the past several years.

Robertson and other officials went to the roost area over the weekend and found no dead birds on the ground.

"That pretty much rules out an illness" or poisoning, the mayor said.

But some residents voiced concerns.

"I've been to Iraq and back and not seen nothing like this," Beebe resident Jeff Drennan told local Fox16 News on Sunday.



Jack White
01-05-2011, 09:24 PM

Ed Jewett
01-06-2011, 06:35 PM
Map of Mass Animal Deaths (http://cryptogon.com/?p=19708)

via Cryptogon and Google Maps

Peter Lemkin
01-06-2011, 06:42 PM
Map of Mass Animal Deaths (http://cryptogon.com/?p=19708)

via Cryptogon and Google Maps

Doesn't look so good in the USA, does it.....:loco:

Jack White
01-06-2011, 07:13 PM
I have read several articles that suspect HAARP.

I still think Chemtrails.


Keith Millea
01-06-2011, 09:15 PM
This isn't related to the critter deaths,but it's a weird story anyhow.

Victoria river mysteriously turns bright green

http://nationalpostnews.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/river.jpg?w=620 Jane London/Handout
The water in Goldstream River, at Goldstream Provincial Park, Victoria, flows a bright green, Dec. 29, 2010.

Postmedia News (http://news.nationalpost.com/author/postmedianews/) December 30, 2010 – 9:03 am
VICTORIA — Horrified nature-lovers at Goldstream Provincial Park watched as the Goldstream River turned bright green late Wednesday afternoon.
The fluorescent green colouring appeared to start about 500 metres on the Victoria side of the entrance to the park and, over the course of an hour, the substance flowed down into the environmentally sensitive estuary.
By 5:30 p.m. the river, known for its dramatic salmon runs, eagles and other wildlife, was back to its normal colour.

Ministry of Environment teams were immediately sent to the area to investigate and members of Langford Fire Department collected samples for analysis.
No dead fish or animals had been found by early evening.
Earlier in the day a fountain beside Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford also turned bright green, said Langford Fire Chief Bob Beckett.

Victoria Times Colonist

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/12/30/victoria-river-mysteriously-turns-bright-green/#ixzz1AI81FeXY


December 31, 2010 – 5:44 pm
By Judith Lavoie, Postmedia News
VICTORIA—The chemical that turned Victoria’s Goldstream River green earlier this week has been confirmed as fluorescein.
Water samples taken Wednesday from the river and from a green-spouting fountain in Veterans Memorial Park were sent to Environment Canada’s Pacific Environmental Science Centre in North Vancouver for assessment, said Dan Gilmore, provincial environment ministry spokesman.
“Test results . . . confirm the substance causing the green colour in the river and the fountain was fluorescein,” Mr. Gilmore said.

“Fluorescein is a synthetic organic compound soluble in water and alcohol. It is widely used as a fluorescent tracer for many applications. The product itself and its products of degradation are not toxic.”
Based on the flow rate of the river, the probable concentration of fluorescein and lab results, Environment Ministry staff do not believe that fish or fish habitat were harmed during this incident, Mr. Gilmore said.
The chemical is usually used to trace leaks from septic tanks and water systems and can be bought online.
Fluorescein is also used in medical diagnosis and guidelines warn it can cause reactions ranging from nausea and hives to death from anaphylactic shock.
Victoria Times Colonist

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/12/31/green-chemical-in-b-c-river-not-toxic-study-confirms/#ixzz1AIAMMNPz

Magda Hassan
01-07-2011, 02:45 AM
That does not look at all normal does it? Quite extraordinary.

Magda Hassan
01-22-2011, 03:46 AM
200 starlings found dead but this time there's no mystery: U.S. government admits poisoning birds in South Dakota

By Gavin Allen (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=Gavin+Allen)
Last updated at 10:39 AM on 21st January 2011

Comments (8) (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1349190/U-S-government-admits-poisoning-hundreds-birds-fell-sky-South-Dakota.html#comments)
Add to My Stories (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1349190/U-S-government-admits-poisoning-hundreds-birds-fell-sky-South-Dakota.html)

The bizarre trend of massed animal deaths around the world in January has been as baffling as it is disturbing.

It started on New Year's Eve as 4,000 birds crashed to earth over a one-mile area of Beebe, Arkansas, and was followed by tens of thousands of fish washing up on a river bank in nearby Ozark.
But rather than proving to be isolated incidents, they were the first in a long series of oddities that have seemingly defied explanation - or at least some of them have.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CD9D438000005DC-481_468x321.jpg South Dakota: Dead birds litter the ground but the USDA has claimed responsibility for poisoning them

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CD9D434000005DC-928_468x286.jpg Shock: The USDA was surprised the poisoned birds managed to fly 10 miles

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CD9D441000005DC-691_468x286.jpg Plummet: The birds fell from the sky and plugged straight into the snowy ground

The latest occurrence saw around 200 starlings drop from the sky in Yankton, South Dakota but, with local authorities were baffled, the government stepped forward to claim responsibility.

It was initially believed that cold weather may have caused the deaths, but then Yankton police received a call from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), stating that its officials had poisoned the birds.

Some 5,000 of the birds had been terrorising a feedlot 10 miles away, defecating in the feed meal and posing a threat to the animals and farm workers.

Enlarge http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CD9EBD5000005DC-310_468x286.jpg (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CD9EBD5000005DC-310_468x286_popup.jpg) The location: Yankton, South Dakota

The USDA decided killing them would be the best action to take and laced bait with the poison DRC-1339.

Officials were surprised the birds made it so far before dying, but they have assured the townsfolk that the poisoned dead birds do not pose a risk to nearby animals or humans.
The Yankton mystery was solved quickly but many similar incidents remain unresolved.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CA24425000005DC-625_468x286.jpg Arkansas: Redwing blackbird fell from the sky in the town of Beebe

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CA7162C000005DC-20_468x286.jpg The plot thickens: Rescue chief Christer Olofsson holds a dead bird in Falkoping, Sweden, where dozens of jackdaws were found dead on the street

Mass bird deaths, ranging in numbers from dozens to thousands, were reported in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, California, Italy and Sweden.

Mass fish death have been reported in Arkansas, Maryland, Chicago, New Zealand and Brazil.
The trend has also hit Britain with 40,000 devil crabs washing ashore along the Kent coast while hundreds of fish were found floating lifelessly in a Greater Manchester pond.
Both those British examples were attributed to extreme temperatures in a very cold winter, and some of the U.S. incidents have also been explained away.

The deaths of two hundred cows on a farm in Wisconsin has been attributed to pneumonia or a similar disease, while the deaths of thousands of turtle in the Italian town of Faenza was attributed to over-eating.

Enlarge http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CACB93E000005DC-666_468x263.jpg (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-0CACB93E000005DC-666_468x263_popup.jpg) Worldwide phenomenon: This map shows mass animal deaths across the globe

Other rational theories floated for the various incidents but much of it is guesswork and in any vacuum of facts conspiracy theorists are sure to tread.

On the website PrisonPlanet.com, run by American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, dug out evidence of bio terrorism.

Quoting a 1997 interview with former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, in which he stated: '[Terrorists] are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism, whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.'
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/21/article-1349190-021BD0AC00000578-535_233x423.jpg The truth is out there: But perhaps aliens are not really to blame

Members of internet forum Mayhem Makers brought aliens into the argument, with one poster called 'Devil Johnny', writing: 'I'm not saying the alien conspiracy is true, but I'm saying people need to start thinking on their own. You believe anything a man in a suit tells you.'
Even Mayhem Makers pessimists got in on the act when another poster, 'Woll Smoth', said: '2012 is coming earlier', referring to the ancient Mayan prophecy that the world will end on December 21, 2012.
But while it is easy to dismiss the conspiracy theorists, some are closer to the mark than others.

Alex Jones of PrisonPlanet.com posed the question 'could secret government testing be responsible for the carnage?'
He said: 'Electromagnetic scalar weapons that can artificially manipulate the environment could be responsible for the mass die offs. We know for a fact that over a decade ago the U.S.

'Military Industrial Complex was aware of and involved in the testing of such technology.

'The U.S. government has been repeatedly caught engaging in illegal bio-weapons tests over American skies that have maimed and killed not just animals, but humans.
'Given the history of governments across the world performing unwitting experiments on their populations, the number one suspect in such cases should always be government.'
As the conspiracy nuts would say, 'just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they aren't watching you'.

Jones may have got his workings out wrong in this instance, but he somehow stumbled on the right answer.

Peter Lemkin
01-22-2011, 05:08 AM
That does not look at all normal does it? Quite extraordinary.

Looks normal to me! :loco: See fluorescent green rivers all the time.....Anyway, best get used to things like this. Sadly, most of the pollution one can't see...but it is as concentrated as that green dye.....or should we say 'die'.

Keith Millea
01-22-2011, 07:12 PM
200 starlings found dead but this time there's no mystery

Starlings are an invasive foreign species,that attack and rob native bird nest/eggs.They should exterminate them all.I had no qualms about shooting the buggers.

Magda Hassan
01-23-2011, 01:56 AM
In the latest of a string of mass animal deaths (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/05/dead-birds-fall-from-sky-_n_804591.html), 10,000 cows and buffalo have died in Vietnam.
Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the news (http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110118173632.aspx) this week that more than 10,000 cows and buffalos died nationwide due to harsh weather conditions.
Cattle have been dying throughout Vietnam, which has had a particularly intense winter. The northern mountainous province of Cao Bang was hardest hit with 2,260 dead cattle, per Thanh Nien News (http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110118173632.aspx). Some have said the number of total dead cattle may be as high as 13,000 (http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/society/4119/seven-people-die-from-cold-in-central-vietnam.html).
Mass animal deaths (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/06/mass-animal-deaths-creepi_n_805311.html) have been in the news quite a bit lately. Hundreds of birds were found dead in South Dakota early this week (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/20/hundreds-of-dead-birds-in_n_811709.html), and before that birds were found dead in Italy (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/10/hundreds-of-dead-birds-fo_n_806660.html) and birds fell from the sky in Arkansas (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/02/dead-birds-fall-from-sky-akansas_n_803358.html), among other incidents (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/05/dead-birds-fall-from-sky-_n_804591.html).
Some of the mass die-offs have been explained - for instance, indigestion is thought to be the cause in Italy (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/10/dead-birds-fall-from-sky-_1_n_806724.html) and the U.S. government has admitted involvement (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/20/hundreds-of-dead-birds-in_n_811709.html) in the South Dakota case. But others remain up for debate (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/03/bird-government-testing-l_n_803808.html).

Peter Lemkin
01-23-2011, 07:40 AM
When hundreds of dead birds were found Monday in Yankton, South Dakota, many residents were puzzled, thinking it was the latest in a string of similar mysterious mass animal deaths around the world. But this is one instance of the many where a clear cause has been identified, as the U.S. government claims responsibility for killing the more than 200 starlings.

It was initially believed that cold weather may have caused the bird deaths, but then Yankton police received a call from the USDA, attesting that they had poisoned the birds at a feedlot 10 miles away, KTIV reports. Apparently, some 5,000 of the birds were defecating in the feed meal, posing a threat to the animals and farm workers, when the USDA decided killing them would be the best action to take.

A bait laced with the poison DRC-1339 was used, though officials were surprised the birds made it so far before dying. They assure that the poisoned dead birds do not pose a risk to nearby animals or humans.

While the mystery of dead birds falling from the sky in South Dakota was quickly solved, similar mass animal deaths around the world remain enigmatic. 200 dead cows were recently found on a farm in Wisconsin, with a disease or pneumonia suspected as the culprit. Prior to that, mass bird deaths ranging from dozens to thousands were reported in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, California, Italy and Sweden. Mass fish death had been report in Arkansas, Maryland, Chicago, New Zealand and Brazil, and 40,000 crabs washed ashore beaches in England.

Officials don't believe any of the incidents are related, and suspect a wide range of causes to be responsible, from cold weather and fireworks to semi-truck collisions and overeating, though they admit in many instances a clear cause may never be identified.

Bernice Moore
01-26-2011, 06:00 AM
http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/USDA_Admits_Involvement_in_South_Dakota_Mass_Bird_ Deaths_110122

Magda Hassan
07-25-2011, 03:36 AM

It's not the "aflockalyptic" fallout from a secret US weapon lab as some have theorized. But the government acknowledged Thursday that it had a hand in one of a string of mysterious mass bird deaths that have spooked residents in Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, South Dakota, and Kentucky in the last month.
Skip to next paragraph
Related stories

Mystery bird deaths: Blame it on harsh winter, fireworks, or 'avicide'?
Blackbird mystery deepens: more birds fall from sky in Louisiana
Aflockalypse now? Turns out mass bird deaths are quite common.


Mass Wildlife Deaths
Nature and the Environment

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) took responsibility for hundreds of dead starlings that were found on the ground and frozen in trees in a Yankton, S.D., park on Monday.

The USDA's Wildlife Services Program, which contracts with farmers for bird control, said it used an avicide poison called DRC-1339 to cull a roost of 5,000 birds that were defecating on a farmer's cattle feed across the state line in Nebraska. But officials said the agency had nothing to do with large and dense recent bird kills in Arkansas and Louisiana.

The top 10 weirdest stories of 2010

A Google map of mass animal deaths across the country

Nevertheless, the USDA's role in the South Dakota bird deaths puts a focus on a little-known government bird-control program that began in the 1960s under the name of Bye Bye Blackbird, which eventually became part of the USDA and was housed in the late '60s at a NASA facility. In 2009, USDA agents euthanized more than 4 million red-winged blackbirds, starlings, cowbirds, and grackles, primarily using pesticides that the government says are not harmful to pets or humans.

In addition to the USDA program, a so-called depredation order from the US Fish and Wildlife Service allows blackbirds, grackles, and starlings to be killed by anyone who says they pose health risks or cause economic damage. Though a permit is needed in some instances, the order is largely intended to cut through red tape for farmers, who often employ private contractors to kill the birds and do not need to report their bird culls to any authority.

"Every winter, there's massive and purposeful kills of these blackbirds," says Greg Butcher, the bird conservation director at the National Audubon Society. "These guys are professionals, and they don't want to advertise their work. They like to work fast, efficiently, and out of sight."
Bird kills turning too zealous?

The depredation order, however, is under review for its impact on the rare rusty blackbird, which roosts with more common species. Ornithologists also suspect that the mass killings may be a factor in declining populations of those species in the US.

While the USDA keeps tabs on the number of birds the program euthanizes, the total death toll isn't known because private contractors operating under the depredation order aren't required to keep count in the case of blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, and starlings.

"My biggest concern is we don't know how many birds are being killed, and we don't have a sense of how at risk the rusty blackbird is because of depredation events in their range," says Mr. Butcher.
Skip to next paragraph
Related stories

Mystery bird deaths: Blame it on harsh winter, fireworks, or 'avicide'?
Blackbird mystery deepens: more birds fall from sky in Louisiana
Aflockalypse now? Turns out mass bird deaths are quite common.


Mass Wildlife Deaths
Nature and the Environment

Yankton animal control officer Lisa Brasel told KTIV-TV that she first believed a cold snap had killed some 200 European starlings that were found dead in Riverside Park, reminding some residents of the final scenes of Alfred Hitchcock's thriller, "The Birds."

But then she said she received a call from a USDA official who said the agency had poisoned a roost of starlings 10 miles south of Yankton. Usually such poisonings result in flocks falling directly out of their tree roosts. But in this case, the birds traveled a fair distance before falling. "They were surprised they came to Yankton like they did and died in our park," said Brasel, according to KTIV-TV.
How birds plague farmers

Carol Bannerman, a Wildlife Services spokeswoman, said such kills are carried out at the request of farmers who can prove the birds are a nuisance. The farmers also help pay the cost, according to the agency.

One example of nuisance birds are European starlings, a non-native species, at US dairies, where a flock of 5,000 can eat 200 pounds of feed a day while soiling equipment and dairy cows.

"It's not that we have anything against starlings, but our charge is to help protect agriculture ... and protect property and human health or safety," she says. "And the fact is, in a lot of rural settings, people say, 'It's just birds, what's the problem?' "

Ms. Bannerman added, however, that the agency takes care to notify local public-health and law-enforcement agencies before a scheduled kill, and noted "what went on in Louisiana and Arkansas, that was totally outside of what we're doing. We're quite concerned that people not connect those."

Two mass bird deaths in north Alabama this week are being investigated, with specimens being tested for toxicity. Two other mass bird deaths in Gilbertville and Murray, Ky., earlier this month were not linked to poison, but could have been caused by unseasonably cold weather. The most widely reported recent mass bird deaths – in Louisiana and Arkansas – have been tied to birds en masse flying into buildings and power lines.
Rogue fireworks in Arkansas

In Arkansas, state ornithologist Karen Rowe has reviewed ground radar records that show a 20,000-plus bird roost taking flight at approximately 10:15 p.m. on New Year's Eve, 15 minutes after a series of large booms shook the windows of houses in a nearby subdivision.

This has caused state wildlife officials to pin the blame on a resident who may have gotten a hold of professional-grade fireworks. The dead birds were likely animals that were trying to land in the dark and hit some kind of object after being drawn to toward the artificial light of the neighborhood.

"So far, no one has confessed to letting off the fireworks, but the question remains if anyone would admit to it," says Ms. Rowe. They needn't fear retribution. Despite the number of birds that died, no laws were broken.

Some 5 billion birds die every year across the US, most largely unnoticed. Mass deaths are not uncommon. The US Geological Service's website listed about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife in the last six months of 2010.

"Whether people are noticing it more and pointing it out more this year than in the past, is something that I'd be thinking about," says Bannerman at the USDA.

Jan Klimkowski
07-25-2011, 10:20 AM
"Every winter, there's massive and purposeful kills of these blackbirds," says Greg Butcher, the bird conservation director at the National Audubon Society. "These guys are professionals, and they don't want to advertise their work. They like to work fast, efficiently, and out of sight."

:lol: :lol:

Yeah, whilst we're at it, let's invoke Volkland Security restrictions and make it a capital crime to even mention the possibility that the US government was involved in killing birds.... :popworm: