Fireworks killed the blackbirds

As a follow-up to my earlier post about the thousands of red-winged blackbirds which dropped dead out of the sky in Arkansas, the BBC reports that fireworks were most probably to blame:

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.

Residents reported hearing loud fireworks just before the birds started raining from the sky. “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.”

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.

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One Response to “Fireworks killed the blackbirds”

  1. Dead birds also reported in Louisiana and Sweden and now dead fish…. « The k2p blog Says:

    […] the thousands of red winged blackbirds falling dead out of the sky in Arkansas, there are now further reports of dead birds in Louisiana and Sweden and dead fish in […]

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