Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some Splainin' to do...

The Birds Director: Alfred Hitchcock 1963

I'm not going to say that living here is boring, but it's pretty peaceful most of the time. Arkansas isn't called the Natural State for nothing, we are proud as a peacock of our pristine air and water. That's why the town of Beebe got pretty upset last Friday night when about 5000 birds, mostly blackbirds fell from the sky dead as doornails. The small town of about 6,000 is only 30 miles northeast of Little Rock. The police switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree and panic set in. Arkansas Game and Commission was called in to clean up the birds that blanketed a mile long stretch near the campus of Arkansas State University and U.S. 267. So far their best guess is fireworks causing them to fly into homes, cars and each other. They've mailed off the carcasses to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin for autopsies.

photo courtesy of MSNBC

Then Monday, state officials were investigating why 80,000 to 100,000 fish washed up dead on the shores of the Arkansas River last Thursday near Ozark, the day before the blackbirds fell in Beebe. There's about 125 miles separating the two small cities. Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said there were 80,000 to 100,000 dead fish, mostly Drum. "If it had been a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just the Drum fish," Stephens added. Drum are bottom feeders, not a fish that anyone would ever want to eat.

Everytime I turn on the news more dead birds have fallen from the sky, this time in Kentucky and Louisiana.
Now today , we hear that 50-100 jackdaws, a bird species in the crow family, fell dead in central Sweden late Tuesday night. Veterinarian Robert ter Horst told The Associated Press that fireworks set off on Tuesday were a possible cause for the dead jackdaws, which were discovered in the city of Falkoping Wednesday.

                                                                   View Bird Deaths in a larger map

I was seeing a pattern until Sweden got in the mix. We'll just have to wait and see if it was just coincidence or some sinister plot to rid the Earth of blackbirds and Drum!


  1. Very strange!

    Hard to imagine that it is fireworks as they happen every year and I haven't heard of these mass bird deaths before ... yiekks.

  2. My thoughts exactly. Fireworks aren't new....I am having a hard time buying that one. I am following this story closely. I am of a suspicious nature anyway , but Sweden just threw me completely.

  3. Ooooh a conspiracy theory. Count me in. I didn't believe the fireworks explanation either.

  4. When I read about this in our paper, my first thought was about Hitchcock's movie too... The Birds really scared me when I was little!

    Hopefully this doesn't turn into something like the bee colony collapses that are happening....


  5. I can't help but think that the BP (Big Polluter) spill is responsible for the deaths of many of these precious creatures, specifically the dispersants that were used. So sad. On a positive note, I think Nature is fully capable of healing itself eventually.

  6. I'd heard about the birds in Arkansas but not the fish. And I hadn't heard about the other birds that have died either. I wonder if we'll ever really know the true story.

  7. The whole thing is so bizarre. To me it doesn't make sense...fireworks have been around forever and are there dead birds in China??????...:)JP

  8. I think it is bizarre also-and the fireworks theory...nah, I just don't believe that one.


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