Bird kill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Bird kill is a localized event resulting in the death of large numbers of birds at the same time.

Scientific explanations[edit]

According to scientists, massive die offs of animals are not unusual in nature and happen for a variety of reasons including bad weather, disease outbreaks and poisonings,[1] with pollution and climate change adding to the stresses on wildlife.[2] According to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in the US over the past 10 years 175 mass deaths events exceeding 1,000 birds occurred.[3]

Russian scientist Afanasiy Ilich Tobonov researched mass animal deaths in 1990's and concluded that the mass deaths of birds and wildlife in the Sakha Republic were noted only along the flight paths of space rockets.[4]


  • December 31, 2010, in Guelph, Ontario. Geese and ducks panicked, some of them died shortly after the beginning of New Year's Eve fireworks at 8:10 pm, December 31, 2010.[9]
  • December 31, 2010, in Beebe, Arkansas. 3,000 red-winged blackbirds and European starlings died. Arkansas state wildlife authorities first received reports on December 31, 2010, shortly before midnight. Further investigation revealed the birds fell over a one-mile area of Beebe, with no other dead birds found outside that concentrated zone. The birds showed signs of physical trauma, leading one ornithologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to speculate the blackbirds might have been killed by lightning, high-altitude hail or possibly fireworks. The birds were sent to laboratories in Georgia and Wisconsin for necropsies to determine the cause of death. On January 5, 2011 the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission confirmed that the incident was caused by a resident setting off professional-grade fireworks, startling the birds into a panic flight.[10] One year later a virtual reprise took place with 5,000 birds plunging to the ground. (See below)
  • January 5, 2011, in Falköping in Sweden. Between 50 and 100 jackdaws died. Some are believed to have been struck by cars or trucks, but others showed no sign of such trauma.[14][15]
  • January 5, 2011, in Constanța, Romania. Eyewitnesses saw dozens of starlings falling from skies "like stones".[16]
  • December 12, 2011, in Utah, about 1,500 grebes crash-landed on a Walmart parking lot, a highway, and football fields, apparently mistaking them for a body of water at night.[18]
  • December 31, 2011 saw a recurrence of what had happened in Beebe, Arkansas on the previous New Year's Eve. Several hundred blackbirds had plunged to their deaths according to an early report by the local television station KATV which also reported that its radar had shown a "large mass" over the town.[19] A later report estimated the count as high as 5,000 dead birds.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Birds Falling From the Sky Not Unusual". 6 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "SCIENCE NEWS Mass bird deaths rare, not apocalyptic: experts". January 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Black-bird die-off Investigation". 
  4. ^ "Group - Afanasiy Ilich Tobonov". 
  5. ^ "Rational help at hand when omens seem bad". The Standard. Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  6. ^ "Bird culling fallout alarms New Jersey community". January 26, 20097.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "Dead birds in Franklin Township were killed on purpose". January 26, 2009. But no humans or pets were ever at risk, said the USDA, contending the pesticide, known as DRC-1339, is inert once it is eaten by the birds and becomes metabolized. 
  8. ^ "More than 80 dead birds found in small Quebec town", Toronto Star, January 7, 2011, retrieved January 8, 2011 
  9. ^ Geese die during fireworks display, Rob O'Flanagan, Guelph Mercury, January 4, 2011
  10. ^ Weise, Elizabeth (January 5, 2011). "Fireworks likely cause of massive Ark. bird kill". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-01-07. It was someone shooting off professional grade fireworks in a residential district, scaring the night-blind birds out of their roost into a 25-mph flight that ran them into houses, signs and even the ground, says Karen Rowe, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist. 
  11. ^ Larkey, Nichole; AP (Jan 4, 2011). "500 birds found dead in Louisiana". Labarre, Louisiana. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ Travis Walter Donovan (01- 6-11). "Birds Dying In Italy: Thousands Of Turtle Doves Fall Dead From Sky". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 7, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "Faenza: la pioggia delle tortore morte si colora di blu". GeaPress (in Italian). 5 January 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Mysterious bird deaths hit Sweden". BBC News. 5 January 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Swedish bird mystery: Deaths due to 'external injuries'". BBC News. 6 January 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  16. ^ Jetzt auch tote Vögel in Italien,, January 8, 2011
  17. ^ Jackson, Emily (October 22, 2011), "Thousands of dead birds wash ashore at Wasaga Beach", Toronto Star, retrieved October 24, 2011 
  18. ^ Melissa Block (2011-12-15). "Ornithologist Discusses Causes Of Bird Downings". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  19. ^ "Dead blackbirds fall again in Arkansas town". Boston Globe. AP. December 31, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2012. 
  20. ^ Keneally, Meghan (January 1, 2012). "First sign of an apocalyptic year to come? Thousands of blackbirds fall to their death in Arkansas town for second New Year's Eve in a row". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]