Bird Falls: Mysterious Deaths Of Birds En Masse

Anome

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I wonder, with absolutely no evidence to back me up, whether there's some kind of atmospheric effect at work here. Either a severe drop in pressure, or a sudden increase. Maybe a nearby cloud to cloud lightning strike, causing a shockwave that crosses the flight path, or something like that.

Just an idea, nothing more.
 

rynner2

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Mysterious bird deaths hit Sweden

Dozens of dead birds have been found lying in a residential street in Sweden, days after thousands of birds fell to their deaths in the US.

Police in the town of Falkoeping have told Swedish media that between 50 and 100 jackdaws had died.
Some are said to have been hit by cars but others have no visible injuries.

Parallels have been drawn with the mysterious death of about 3,000 red-winged blackbirds in the US state of Arkansas on New Year's Eve.

Veterinary officials told Swedish radio that the case in Falkoeping was rare although they said there could be a number of reasons such as "disease or poisoning".

Aftonbladet newspaper quoted one resident, Drilon Hulaj, who said that as he drove home late on Tuesday night the street in front of him was dotted with "hundreds of dead birds".

Mr Hulaj said he had been immediately reminded of the events in the town of Beebe, Arkansas. Scientists have said the blackbirds there may have been affected by fireworks.

There have been no reports of fireworks or storms in Falkoeping at the time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12118839
 

Iggore

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How would you call a sky-dwelling jellyfish? A jellybird?

ba-dum tishh!
 

Twin_Star

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Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. Hosea 4:3 KJV

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/0 ... 05541.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/0 ... 05211.html

Just about enough time for our food chain to collapse 6-12 months before Dec 21 2012. Cannabalism, death and depravity in those last desperate weeks and then then big one as Nibiru tears through the inner solar system and becomes that great star, known as wormwood ... ;)
 

Vardoger

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And don't forget the holocaust the bee population have been through.
 

rynner2

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More than 1,000 turtle doves fall from the sky in Italy in latest mass bird death case
After cavalcades of dead birds and fish from Arkansas and Texas to Sweden and New Zealand, tests are being carried out on the bodies of turtle doves in Italy after hundreds rained down near Ravenna.
By Nick Pisa, Rome 7:27PM GMT 07 Jan 2011

For the last five days wildlife experts and officers from the forestry commission have picked up more than 1,000 turtle doves as well as other birds including pigeons.

Yesterday alone 300 corpses were recovered with all of them having a blue tinge to their beaks, which scientists say indicates poisoning or hypoxia which is lack of oxygen that can confuse animals.

The incident in the town of Faenza in northern Italy comes after a series of similar cases across the world in the United States and Sweden.

It is not just birds that have been affected, with millions of dead fish also washing up on river banks and coastlines.

The turtle dove case is the largest incident to have hit Europe so far – in Sweden 50 jackdaws were found dead. Italian officials said they expected results from the tests on Monday.

Most of the birds have been found around an industrial estate on the outskirts of Faenza but others have also been found closer to the centre in trees and on roads and pavements.

One local newspaper covering the incident wrote: "Let's hope it is poisoning or an illness because that would be easier to deal with than it being a sign the world is coming to an end."

Massimo Bolognesi, of the local World Wildlife Federation, said: "We first started getting reports on Sunday and since then they have been coming in every day.

"We have collected more than 1,000 turtle doves corpses but there is also the odd pigeon as well and all of them have this blue tint to their beak which could indicate poisoning or hypoxia.

"Tests are being carried out on the bodies by the local forestry commission and we should get the results next week but it's the numbers that make this such a notable event and for the moment it is a mystery."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -case.html
 

Analis

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Seems like a world epidemic...
 

Spookdaddy

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This article suggest that the mass poisoning of birds is not an unknown occurence in Italy -

Although the Italian law forbids killing of feral pigeons (Columba livia), sporadic outbreaks of mortality due to illegal poisoning still occur in this species in Italy both in urban areas and in the countryside. Cases of intentional poisoning may be suspected when incidents involve a few to great numbers of birds and take place in areas where feral pigeons are known as a cause of several types of damages. In these cases, dead pigeons, usually in good body condition, are found in a same place where also a certain amount of remaining feed (usually a mix of cereals) can still be detected.
I'd also suggest that the mass death of fish is not at all rare. Fish are incredibly sensitive to environmental change and it takes very little - either through unintentional release or illegal dumping - to cause death on a large scale. A quick google suggests that there are paper mills, chemical plants and rubber manufacturers all close to the Arkansas River (where the death of large numbers of fish mentioned earlier in the thread occured).

I'm also pretty sure that mass bird deaths are not that unheard of - and the link gyrtrash posted earlier would seem to back that up. At this time of year, in the Northern Hempisphere, many birds gather in large flocks, and I wonder if these recent deaths are an instance of something that happens regularly but which we are now noticing because local conditions affect far more individual birds at one time in winter than they would in spring or summer.

I can't help thinking that this flurry of stories is a case of 'seek, and ye shall find' - with possibly a little bit of Texas Sharpshooter thrown in.

(Edited for typo.)
 

gyrtrash

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This article agrees with you, Spookdaddy!

Blogs connected the deadly dots, joking about the "aflockalypse" while others saw real signs of something sinister, either biblical or environmental.

The reality, say biologists, is that these mass die-offs happen all the time and usually are unrelated.

Federal records show they happen on average every other day somewhere in North America. Usually, we don't notice them and don't try to link them to each other...

... Since the 1970s, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin has tracked mass deaths among birds, fish and other critters, said wildlife disease specialist LeAnn White. At times the sky and the streams just turn deadly. Sometimes it's disease, sometimes pollution. Other times it's just a mystery.

In the past eight months, the USGS has logged 95 mass wildlife die-offs in North America and that's probably a dramatic undercount, White said. The list includes 900 some turkey vultures that seemed to drown and starve in the Florida Keys, 4,300 ducks killed by parasites in Minnesota, 1,500 salamanders done in by a virus in Idaho, 2,000 bats that died of rabies in Texas, and the still mysterious death of 2,750 sea birds in California.

On average, 163 such events are reported to the federal government each year, according to USGS records. And there have been much larger die-offs than the 3,000 blackbirds in Arkansas. Twice in the summer of 1996, more than 100,000 ducks died of botulism in Canada...

... Skewed view
So what's happening this time?

Blame technology, says famed Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson. With the Internet, cell phones and worldwide communications, people are noticing events, connecting the dots more.

Source: HERE!
 

rynner2

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Alcohol poisoning, not avian flu, killed Romanian birds

Birds that were thought to have died from avian flu in Romania instead apparently drank themselves to death.

Residents of Constanta in eastern Romania found dozens of dead starlings on the outskirts of the city on Saturday.
They alerted authorities, fearing the birds had died from avian flu.

But local veterinary officials decided the starlings had died after eating grape 'marc' - the leftovers from the wine-making process.
The head of the local sanitary and veterinary authority, Dvsva, told news agency Agerpres that analysis of the starlings' gizzards showed they had died from alcohol poisoning.

There have been a number of unexplained mass bird deaths recently in several countries, including the United States and Sweden.

Fireworks were blamed for the deaths of thousands of red-winged blackbirds in Arkansas, while in Sweden officials believe almost 100 jackdaws found dead in the centre of a town had simply been run over.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/12170571
 

Bigphoot2

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Hundreds of dead birds found in mystery mass death
  • 34 minutes ago
Hundreds of birds found dead on a north Wales road are to be tested to discover how they died.
Around 300 starlings were discovered with blood on their bodies in a lane on Anglesey.
Dafydd Edwards, whose partner found the birds, said it was as if "they had dropped down dead from the sky".
etc
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50741457
 

JamesWhitehead

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Seems like a classic Fortean mystery.

The proximity of all the deceased starlings to the road and the fading light of that hour, 3.40 pm in midwinter, makes me feel that some murmuration . . . murmur, murmur, murmur, no idea really . . .

But Charlie Fort would have loved it. :loveu:
 

IbisNibs

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I followed the link in the article about dead birds falling dead in Louisiana. There is a lot of oil/petrochemical related industry there. Manufacturing plastics creates carcinogenic toxins, plus who knows what else. Being small and with rapid metabolism, birds would be more susceptible to air borne toxins than we would. Many of them could have been undernourished as well. Food supplies for many creatures are dwindling. I wouldn't be surprised if things like that were involved.

It's very sad. We're losing more and more birds, and insects too.
 

maximus otter

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I followed the link in the article about dead birds falling dead in Louisiana. There is a lot of oil/petrochemical related industry there. Manufacturing plastics creates carcinogenic toxins, plus who knows what else. Being small and with rapid metabolism, birds would be more susceptible to air borne toxins than we would. Many of them could have been undernourished as well. Food supplies for many creatures are dwindling. I wouldn't be surprised if things like that were involved.

It's very sad. We're losing more and more birds, and insects too.
Cancer, disease or poisoning doesn’t make hundreds of birds die simultaneously, with visible blood, in a small area.

maximus otter
 

pandacracker

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The original report says that the birds were found "with blood on them"

Is it their blood, did the birds have open wounds?

Is it possible they vomited the blood?
 

Bigphoot2

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The original report says that the birds were found "with blood on them"

Is it their blood, did the birds have open wounds?

Is it possible they vomited the blood?
Just a thought - was it blood or something coloured red they had eaten and then vomited up?
 

EnolaGaia

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I'm reminded of something that happened to a friend and me in northern Minnesota in September or October 1975. We were driving in a van, headed to International Falls to play a week-long gig at a club. ...

We approached a spot where we could see a large number of dark birds (apparently starlings) on the ground on both sides of the road. As we approached within something like 100 yards, they all lifted off and began to coalesce into a flying murmuration (i.e., a discernible but loose formation akin to one or more "streams" of birds). ...

When we closed to around 20 - 30 yards, a large number of the birds (think of it as a sub-stream or branch of the overall murmuration) changed course and flew en masse directly at our van. They didn't waver or dodge; they simply flew into us at full speed. They battered against the van's front end and windshield with a sound like a heavy hailstorm, with their bodies flying / falling every which way. ...

EDIT:

This story and discussion about it have been moved to:

Odd Bird Behavior Around Moving Cars & Other Vehicles
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...havior-around-moving-cars-other-vehicles.625/
 
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IbisNibs

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Are there any ornithologists in the house?

The best general information I could find about similar events, other than the articles linked in this thread, was in Wikipedia, which includes the Dec 11 mass bird death in Wales ("December 11, 2019, in Wales. About 300 starlings found dead with their internal organs spewing out."):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_kill
 
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EnolaGaia

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The best general information I could find about similar events, other than the articles linked in this thread, was in Wikipedia, which includes the Dec 11 mass bird death in Wales ("December 11, 2019, in Wales. About 300 starlings found dead with their internal organs spewing out."):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_kill
The Wales incident was the thing that made me think of the Minnesota incident. In looking at the photos of the scene, I noticed (in one direction) the road curved away with substantial foliage on both sides. If there'd been starlings on the ground there would have been a blind curve in one direction from their vantage, perhaps allowing a vehicle to appear suddenly and startle them into action.

It's easier to accept startled starlings not getting high enough to avoid impact in the Wales location than the Minnesota location, where there was clear visibility in both directions along an essentially straight stretch of highway.

Of course, the Wales incident may have involved a "bird fall" (the starlings dropping out of the air) with the bodies getting subsequently crushed by passing traffic. The news article I saw gave the impression this sort of traumatic physical damage was uniform among the dead birds, and this uniformity of damage wouldn't have occurred on the ground unless there'd been a lot of traffic running over the carcasses.
 
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blessmycottonsocks

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Just read this strange account:

""Last October I was on a survey vessel between the Shetland Islands and the Faroe Islands.
The sea was like a mirror, unusual for the Atlantic, and a thick fog had surrounded us for days. We were collecting core samples from the seafloor, and I was working nights.
Out of nowhere, thousands of tiny birds appeared out of the fog. Some settled on the boat, all silent. Others flew clockwise around the boat, darting in and out of the fog.
This continued for a few hours, until around 4:00 am the birds just started dropping dead out of the sky. Thump! And a tiny, fragile dead bird landed next to me.
This continued until daybreak when the fog finally lifted and the birds disappeared along with it.
We were finding the bodies for days afterward." — Reddit user theclockticks
 

GNC

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I wonder if the flock were menaced by a predator and had to take evasive action that ended very badly?
 

RaM

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With the small birds flying round the survey vessel, small birds can die in a very short time
if they don't get food especially if flying maybe they just flew round disoriented by the fog
till they died.

With the starlings I wounder if they could have been forced into the ground by a microburst,
such things can force commercial jets down if caught near the ground and flying slow.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Came across this article, I thought might be of related interest:

Bird Falls


By: Christopher C. Burt, on January 05, 2011

Apropos of the recent bird fall reported from Beebe, Arkansas this list of prior such events may be of interest. The list was provided by Prof. Randall Cerveny of Arizona State University. Comments and suggestions as to the plausible cause of this phenomena would be welcome!

I quote this list from Randy:

"I have in my archive of weird and unusual weather a list of twelve massive bird falls":

https://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/bird-falls.html
 

EnolaGaia

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Hundreds of dead birds found in mystery mass death
Update ...

As I understand it, the authorities have all but concluded the birds were murmurating to flee a predator, they dove en masse toward the ground as an evasive maneuver, and some didn't "pull out" of the dive.
Welsh police solve mystery of hundreds of dead starlings

Welsh investigators said Thursday they believe they've solved the mystery of hundreds of starlings found dead on a rural roadway -- the flock of birds likely smashed themselves into the ground by mistake to avoid a predator.

The North Wales Police offered an update on the case about a month after residents discovered at least 200 birds dead on the island of Anglesey.

The agency said that initial post mortem results indicate the birds had internal trauma from impact with the road.

"We still await toxicology, but from speaking to many people, looking at the injuries and previous world wide cases it appears by taking avoiding flight action the murmuration has flown towards the ground and pulled up, but some have not made it," said Rob Taylor, of the NWP's rural crime team. ...

Stevens said she had seen the birds alive and well and flying in a massive flock when she first passed by the spot on her way to a doctor's appointment, but when she returned along the same route an hour later they were all dead. ...
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-...ndreds-of-dead-starlings/2451579210183/?sl=12
 

RaM

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Don't believe that, surly if 300 birds dived into the ground at least a few would have been alive but injured.
 
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GNC

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So I was right? That doesn't happen very often...
 
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