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JessE 01-05-2011 04:48 AM

Dead birds falling from sky still mystify experts
Dead birds falling from sky still mystify experts

January 4, 2011 | 3:32 pm
Scientists still don’t know what’s causing flocks of birds to drop from the sky in the South, even as several hundred more fell dead onto a Louisiana highway.
The puzzling phenomenon started on New Year’s Eve when thousands of blackbirds were found dead in central Arkansas. Townsfolk spent their holiday weekend removing the remains of between 4,000 and 5,000 dead red-winged blackbirds. Scientists have descended on the town, trying to find a cause for the mass die-off.
In the latest incident early this week, some 500 birds were discovered scattered on a rural road in Louisiana's Pointe Coupee Parish, 300 miles south of the Arkansas site. Officials there are stumped as to what caused the birds to plunge to their death.
Wildlife officials in both states were sending carcasses to researchers at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., and the University of Georgia. No one is yet connecting the two mass deaths, but the Audubon Society is closely monitoring the situation.
“Mass bird die-offs can be caused by starvation, storms, disease, pesticides, collisions with manmade structures or human disturbance,” says Greg Butcher, Audubon’s director of bird conservation. “Scientists are still investigating what happened to the birds in Louisiana and Arkansas, but initial findings indicate that these are isolated incidents that were probably caused by disturbance and disorientation.”
The birds that died –- red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds and European starlings –- are abundant species that flock together in large nighttime roosts during the winter months. Roosts can contain from tens of thousands to 20 million individuals or more, according to Audubon.
The U.S. Geological Service's website lists about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12. Five list deaths of at least 1,000 birds and another 12 show at least 500 dead birds.
The largest was near Houston, Minn., where about 4,000 water birds died between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26 from infestations of various parasites.
Red-winged blackbirds are among North America's most abundant birds, with somewhere between 100 million and 200 million nationwide, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y.
-- Julie Cart
One of thousands of red-winged blackbirds found dead in Arkansas this weekend. Credit: Stephen B. Thornton /Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

JessE 01-05-2011 04:50 AM

Fireworks may have caused Arkansas bird deaths Click to play

Click to play


Scores of dead birds have been sent off for scientific analysis to determine the cause of death

Continue reading the main story Related stories
US scientists believe fireworks may have caused thousands of birds to fall from the sky over an Arkansas town on New Year's Eve.
Karen Rowe, of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said the red-winged blackbirds probably flew low to avoid explosions and collided with objects.
However, she stopped short of declaring the mystery solved, saying further tests on the dead birds are planned.
Officials say more than 3,000 birds fell over the city of Beebe.
The few that survived their fall stumbled around like drunken revellers, witnesses said.
Birds were "littering the streets, the yards, the driveways, everywhere," said Robby King, a county wildlife officer.
"It was hard to drive down the street in some places without running over them."
Initial laboratory reports said the birds had died from trauma, the AGFC said.
Residents reported hearing loud fireworks just before the birds started raining from the sky. Severe weather over Arkansas could also be the cause of the mystery deaths
"They started going crazy, flying into one another," said AGFC spokesman Keith Stephens.
The birds also hit homes, cars, trees and other objects, and some could have flown hard into the ground.
"The blackbirds were flying at rooftop level instead of treetop level" to avoid explosions above, said Ms Rowe, an ornithologist.
"Blackbirds have poor eyesight, and they started colliding with things."
Beebe police chief Capt Eddie Cullum said they were inundated with calls from residents who saw the birds fall.
Poisoning has been ruled out after several cats and dogs that ate the dead birds suffered no ill effects, he added.
However, another theory is that a violent thunderstorm could have disoriented a roost of blackbirds.
Tornadoes swept through Arkansas and neighbouring states on 31 December, killing seven people.
City authorities have hired a specialist waste disposal firm to collect the dead birds from gardens and rooftops, and remove them.

BBC News - Fireworks may have caused Arkansas bird deaths

bushweed 01-05-2011 04:56 AM

Its not so mystifying when you consider all the polluting shit humans pump into the atmosphere. Truly we are both the smartest and stupidest species on the planet...

JessE 01-05-2011 05:36 AM

MDE: Fish Kill Caused By Cold Stress

Thousands Of Dead Fish Wash Onto Bay Shores

POSTED: 7:14 pm EST January 3, 2011
UPDATED: 7:19 pm EST January 3, 2011

KENT ISLAND, Md. -- The Maryland Department of the Environment said that tens of thousands of small fish have died in the Chesapeake Bay due to the stress of the cold water.

MDE spokeswoman Dawn Stolzfus said reports of a fish kill started coming in last week from Calvert County and Kent Island.

Many 11 News viewers wrote in Monday to report that the fish had begun washing onto the shore.

Stolzfus said the types of fish that have died are menhayden, spots and croakers.

She said the fish usually swim to warmer waters before the severe cold weather that the area experienced in December. There is no word on why the fish didn't do that.

The MDE said it will let Mother Nature run its course to get rid of the fish and won't intervene.

Anyone who sees a fish kill should report it to the MDE at 866-MDE-GOTO. Stolzfus said the department does check them out to make sure the kill isn't caused by a pollutant.

MDE: Fish Kill Caused By Cold Stress - Baltimore, Maryland News Story - WBAL Baltimore

JessE 01-05-2011 05:40 AM


Originally Posted by bushweed (Post 81738)
Its not so mystifying when you consider all the polluting shit humans pump into the atmosphere. Truly we are both the smartest and stupidest species on the planet...

Hi Bush,
It would seem this sort of thing is not uncommon, especially recently. With reports from as far away as Brazil of similar occurances happening. Perhaps its time to take a closer look at our impact on the world around us...

wisp 01-05-2011 06:07 AM

Cchemtrails and Geo engineering.....

Its sad though as one must remember mineing.....
If the bird drops everyone get out..........
Hard to remember a sky without Trails init

JessE 01-05-2011 11:28 AM

La. has mass bird kill just days after Ark.

NEW ORLEANS – It isn't easy being a blackbird in the South.
First, New Year's Eve fireworks were blamed in central Arkansas for making thousands of blackbirds confused, crashing into homes, cars and each other. Then 300 miles to the south in Louisiana, power lines likely killed about 450 birds, littering a highway near Baton Rouge.
It's almost certainly a coincidence the events happened within days of each other, Louisiana's state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour said Tuesday. "I haven't found anything to link the two at this point."

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, Minn., where parasite infestations killed about 4,000 water birds between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26.

In Louisiana, the birds died sometime late Sunday or early Monday in the rural Pointe Coupee Parish community of Labarre, about 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. The birds — a mixed flock of red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings — may have hit a power line or vehicles in the dark, LaCour said. Two dozen of them had head, neck, beak or back injuries.
About 50 dead birds were near a power line 30 or 40 feet from Louisiana Highway 1. About a quarter-mile away, a second group of 400 or more stretched from the power line and across the highway, he said.

Dan Cristol, a biology professor and co-founder of the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies at the College of William & Mary, said the Louisiana birds may have been ill or startled from their roost, then hit the power line.
"They don't hit a power line for no reason," he said.

In Beebe, New Year's revelers spent the holiday weekend cleaning up dead red-winged blackbirds. Some speculated that bad weather was to blame. Others said one confused bird could have led the group in a fatal plunge. A few spooked schoolkids guessed the birds committed mass suicide.

Officials acknowledged, though, they may never know exactly what caused the large number of deaths.
Cristol was skeptical of the fireworks theory, unless "somebody blew something into the roost, literally blowing the birds into the sky."
Wildlife officials in both Arkansas and Louisiana sent carcasses to researchers at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. and the University of Georgia.

LaCour said he didn't expect results for at least two or three weeks.

In 1999, several thousand grackles fell from the sky and staggered about before dying in north Louisiana. It took five months to get the diagnosis: an E. coli infection of the air sacs in their skulls.

"I hope things go faster than that," said Paul Slota, branch chief for the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. He said necropsies of the Arkansas birds began Tuesday afternoon.

"If it isn't strictly trauma, it may take more time to get results back," he said. "When nothing shows up, you run the tests longer and let it incubate longer."

La. has mass bird kill just days after Ark. - Yahoo! News

british_hempire 01-05-2011 01:01 PM

I'm just waiting for the wild conspiracy theories to start, that tends to be the case whenever something unusual happens that doesn't have an immediate answer.

Nothing so strange as nature and while these deaths are unusual I doubt they are unnatural.

Near where I live we once had thousands of fish fall from the sky, they covered the school playing fields and adjacent fields, it was surreal. Turns out it was the result of a water spout out at sea picking the fish up and dumping them half a mile inland. I remember collecting fish and filling the freezer up with them, mostly plaice, some flounder, there were a load of conger eels too, those are nasty things.

REDEYE_420 01-05-2011 01:33 PM

I wonder if it has anything to do with the H.A.A.R.P project at all?

How many times has this happened before?

Just a thought. ;)

british_hempire 01-05-2011 02:08 PM

How could it have anything to do with HAARP? HAARP only affects the upper layers of the atmosphere, hence the name High Altitude Atmospheric Research Project. HAARP is a coldwar leftover, they wanted to affect the weather over Russia which is why the HAARP array points straight at Russia.

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