Thousands of birds fell dead from the sky, 24 hours later and 125 miles away thousands of dead fish were found in the Arkansas River.
Described by many as a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, the community is looking for answers. Dead are mostly red-winged black birds and authorities are speculating the deaths may be related to lightning, stress, hail or fireworks. Really? Then why are officials from the Department of Environmental Services who are picking the birds off of lawns, roofs and streets wearing protective gloves, oxygen masks and hazmat suits?
Take a look at some of these reports for yourself:
Here is the official press release from Arkansas’s Game and Fish Commission, released January 1, 2011, regarding the dead birds.
BEEBE – Last night, ringing in the New Year took on a whole different meaning for the citizens of Beebe. Beginning at around 11:30 p.m., enforcement officers with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began getting reports of dead black birds falling from the sky in the city limits of Beebe.
Officers estimated that over 1,000 birds had fallen out of the sky over the city before midnight. Most of the birds were dead, but some were still alive when officers arrived. The blackbirds fell over a one-mile area in the city. AGFC wildlife officer Robby King responded to the reports and found hundreds of birds.
“Shortly after I arrived there were still birds falling from the sky,” King said. King collected about 65 dead birds that will be sent to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis.
The AGFC has flown over the area to gauge the scope of the event. There were no other birds found outside of the initial area.
AGFC ornithologist Karen Rowe said that strange events similar to this one have occurred a number of times across the globe. “Test results usually were inconclusive, but the birds showed physical trauma and that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail,” Rowe said.
Another scenario may have been that New Year’s Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area may have startled the birds from their roost. The birds may have died from stress.
Rowe said that it didn’t appear as though the birds died of any poisoning or other event. “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,” she said. Testing will begin on Monday.
The City of Beebe has hired U.S. Environmental Services to begin the cleanup and dispose of the dead birds. The environmental firm will go door-to-door to pick up the birds that are still in yards and on roof tops.
Mid Air Collision
MSNBC has recently revealed the cause of death may have been a mid-air collision among the birds.
But wait… there’s more
24 Hours Later
Twenty four hours later and 125 miles away, hundreds of thousands of Drum fish were found dead in the Arkansas River.
What do you think?
Could these incidents have been caused by government testing as many commenting on a wide variety of articles on this topic are suspecting? Or is something else at play here? Let us know what you think!