News & Politics

Dead Birds Fall in Sweden, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky; Now It’s Time to Panic


If Unsolved Mysteries is not still being made, perhaps the show should consider a comeback for this most recent international phenomenon: birds have now fallen from the sky across the American South, but also in Sweden, where “residents found 50 to 100 jackdaws on a street in Falköping southeast of Skövde.” And the official line is still that fireworks are to blame. Maybe this year’s crop of fireworks are extra potent?

Those 50 to 100, of course, are in addition to the 5,000 red-winged backbirds in Arkansas and the 500 of the same bird in Louisiana (to say nothing of Arkansas’ own problem of 100,000 dead fish). In Kentucky, a woman reported dozens of dead birds near her property. Perhaps, one might posit, blackbirds are just extra-dumb. (The jackdaw is of the crow family.) Call it nature or a coincidence, but either way, this whole thing is getting to be a little much, all at once.

The Local reports:

“We have received information from local residents last night. Our main theory is that the birds were scared away because of the fireworks and landed on the road, but couldn’t fly away from the stress and were hit by a car,” he explained to The Local on Wednesday.

He added that they likely had difficulty orienting themselves in the dark and although they have received one report involving a car collision with the birds, ter Horst believes they may have been hit by more.

“We will continue to look at whether there are other theories, but then we have to do an autopsy on the birds. The birds just now are in a car on the way to a laboratory in Uppsala. We don’t know exactly what happened yet, but we will continue the investigation,” he added.

Conspiracy theorists must be so jittery — they thought we had until 2012, at least!

Swedish birds ‘scared to death’: veterinarian
[The Local]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 2011

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