January 2, 2011
Thousands of Birds Fall Dead
BEEBE, Ark. – The cleanup for two thousand red-winged blackbirds left more than mystery for the city workers and local ornithologists. The birds showed physical trauma when they were examined after their fall on Friday evening. Karen Rowe from the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission stated that “the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail”, and that similar events have happened. Sixty-five birds were collected for examination.
Dead Birds Cover Highway One
LABARRE, La. – Are power lines killing wildlife? That may be the case in Labarre, where a flock of red-winged blackbirds, grackles, brown-headed cowbirds and starlings was found dead.
“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”, says Jim LaCour, Louisana’s state wildlife veterinarian. Most of the birds showed some sign of physical trauma to beaks, heads, necks, and backs. The cause of the death of the flock is currently under investigation.
Massive Fish Kill in Louisiana Bayou
40,000 Crabs Join Slew of Animal Deaths
San Francisco – For the Birds?
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – A murder of about 27 crows descended upon San Francisco bays, disrupting the normal seagull watching for tourists. Local bird-watchers claim it is unusual, and spoke of sightings of abnormal amounts of crows and ravens over the past year. It could be typical evolution, but Dan Murphy, one of the founders of the Golden Gate Audubon Society, had some misgivings. “They’re at the top of the food chain. … It might not be a good thing.”
Sweden Town Hit by Jackdaw Deaths
Falköping, Sweden – Between 50 and 100 jackdaws were found dead on the streets of Falköping on Tuesday, shortly before midnight. County veterinarian Robert ter Horst has a simple explanation. “We have received information from local residents last night. Our main theory is that the birds were scared away because of the fireworks and landed on the road, but couldn’t fly away from the stress and were hit by a car,” he explained to reporters on Wednesday. However, he added, “We don’t know exactly what happened yet, but we will continue the investigation.”
Jackdaws are a close relative of crows – many of which have been found dead in the American south in the past few days.
Two Million Dead Fish in Chesapeake, More in Brazil and New Zealand
CHESAPEAKE, Md. – Officials speculate that recent weather fluctuations may be the cause of death for the estimated two million fish, primarily spot and croaker fish, floating in the bay. This event is similar to those in Brazil, according to Paraná-Online (via Google Translator): “Fishermen have found at least 100 tonnes, mainly sardines. A survey conducted by the Federation of Fishermen’s Colony of Paraná, Paranaguá on the coast of the state, indicates that at least 100 tons of fish (sardine, croaker and catfish) have turned up dead since last Thursday off the coast of Parana.”
The New Zealand Herald wrote today about hundreds of snapper fish washing ashore – many of them missing their eyes. All of the incidents are currently under investigation by environmental experts.
Murder of Crows Descends on Ottowa
OTTOWA, Canada – A flock of crows numbering over 20,000 has descended upon the city of Ottowa. Bird-watcher Tom Beck admitted that it’s unnerving even for fans of the species, “I’ve watched them mob things like owls or hawks.” The flock has appeared for several winters, and now residents are petitioning for permission to shoot the birds on sight. Will Ottowa citizens have to resort to murdering this murder of crows, or will the birds depart as they normally do each spring? It remains to be seen.