Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Blackbird Dying in the Dead of Night

So, recently I've been following the weird news out of Arkansas: thousands of red-winged blackbirds plummeting from the sky in Beebe, not far from Searcy, between Little Rock and Jonesburo. It's apparently co-incidental that the day before there'd been a massive fish-kill on the Arkansas River, since that was all the way over on the far side of the state, or that the next day there was a smaller similar sudden death (amounting to several hundred) of red-wing blackbirds, grackles, and starlings in SE Louisiana (down near Baton Rouge). So far the various explanations have been singularly lacking in plausibility -- so much so that you can actually hear the skepticism in the NPR reporter's voice (a rare thing in itself) when the Arkansas official explains that birds drop dead all the time from "stress".
Here's the initial story:

And here's a follow-up:


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