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What Is Killing These Birds ???

From LeKriz/Flickr

Is it fireworks? Is it high-altitude hail? Is it an invisible toxic cloud? Is it UFOs?

Conspiracy theorists are having a field day right now trying to explain what caused more than 4,000 blackbirds and starlings to fall from the sky to their deaths this New Year’s Eve in Beebe, Ark. An estimated 500 of the same birds in Pointe Coupee Parish, La., did the same thing yesterday. To make things even more weird 80,000 to 100,000 dead drum fish also washed up last week on a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.

While scientists initially figured the birds could have been affected by loud explosions (which have not yet been explained) or flown into each other and other objects because of “stress-induced panic after booming fireworks on New Year’s Eve”, CNN reported that investigators think massive trauma is likely the cause.

The birds, most of which were dead when they were found, showed evidence of trauma to their breast tissue, blood clots in their body cavities and lots of internal bleeding. There was no sign of chronic or infectious disease and their major organs tested normally. An ornithologist for the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission told the network the incident was not unusual and is often caused by a lightning strike or high-altitude hail.

Of course we all remember the bad weather we had come through the area earlier in the day on New Year’s Eve, but blackbirds don’t normally fly at night, so experts are baffled by their odd behavior. The sight of haz mat workers cleaning up this mess is also good to stir up controversy in a small town of 5,000.

Updates have mentioned our State Wildlife Vet (Jim LaCour) suggesting a possible collision with power lines in Point Coupee being that 50 of the birds were located under a power line and the other 400 were a quarter mile away scattered on the road under a power line as well.

Birds in both Arkansas & Louisiana have been sent off for testing in Wisconsin and Georgia … but until then ….

What do you think is killing these birds?

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