Wednesday, 05 January 2011 13:54
CHICAGO – Fright likely killed thousands of birds which dropped onto a small town in Arkansas, officials said Monday.
As many as 5,000 birds began falling over the small town of Beebe shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve.
"We right now are pretty confident that the trauma is what caused the die-off," said state veterinarian George Badley.
A local resident reported hearing about 20 loud booms Saturday night -- which could have been fireworks or a cannon to get rid of nuisance birds -- and saw a huge flock of frantic birds when he went outside.
"He could hear the blackbirds fluttering around -- he could hear their wings and he could hear them hitting into things," Badley told AFP.
Blackbirds have poor night vision and they were likely killed because they banged into houses, trees and each other in their fright.
However, the state is conducting further tests to make sure the birds were not poisoned or diseased, Badley said.
It was not a good weekend for wildlife in Arkansas.
About 80,000 to 100,000 dead fish were found floating in the Arkansas River about 100 miles away from Beebe a day before the birds were killed.
Officials believe they were killed by disease because only one species -- drum fish -- was affected.
"We did something wrong, didn't we?" joked Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission.
Stephens said it's possible that a tornado which whipped through Arkansas and killed three people Friday morning may have had something to do with the bird deaths. (AFP)
- 06/01/2011 12:38 - DILG chief asks employees for transparency
- 05/01/2011 13:57 - Singson renews call for transformation at DPWH
- 05/01/2011 13:56 - RP prepays US$ 3.6B in end-October ‘10
- 05/01/2011 13:55 - Gov't to propose ceasefire to NDF upon resumption of formal peace talks
- 05/01/2011 13:55 - Ochoa reorganizes Office of the President to improve operations
- 05/01/2011 13:52 - Dead fetus found in airplane bathroom in Manila
- 04/01/2011 11:04 - Malacanang saddened over increase in firecracker casualties
- 04/01/2011 10:56 - Japan population shrinks by record in 2010
- 04/01/2011 10:55 - Pagadian City Mayor urges businessmen to install CCTV camera in their establishment
- 04/01/2011 10:54 - iPhone alarm glitch leaves users fuming