Birds Fall From Arkansas Skies
What looked like a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie became reality for a small town north of Little Rock Arkansas, as over 5,000 dead birds dropped from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve. The city of Beebe, besieged by the onslaught, has hired U.S. Environmental Services to collect the bird carcasses from yards and rooftops as they go door to door.
The birds, mostly blackbirds and starlings, were found within a one-mile radius and usually spend the night hours roosting in treetops. It is not known what caused the mass exodus and subsequent death of the birds, however a commission appointed ornithologist, Karen Rowe, stated that such an incident can be caused by hail or lightning. "It's important to understand that a sick bird can't fly. So whatever happened to these birds happened very quickly," Rowe told CNN Radio on Sunday.
In addition, there is speculation that fireworks may have caused the deaths, due to severe stress. Most of the birds were found dead, with a large amount suffering massive trauma.
The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission and the National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin will be conducting the necropsies of the birds starting Monday.