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Birds Falling From the Sky

Posted On: Dec 3, 2017   |   Posted By: Ornithology

Birds Falling From the Sky

Seems like every time there is an unusual event, conspiracy theorists and their ilk come up with farfetched explanations. Science generally operates on the principle that the simplest explanation is generally the right one. There is no need to invoke ideas like changes in the earth's magnetic field, toxic gases, black holes, radio waves, or secret weapons to explain the thousands of birds that fell from the skies on New Year's Eve in Beebe, Arkansas a few years ago. Lightning, hail, disease, or malnutrition are more reasonable guesses, but apparently not correct either.
Many birds such as these Red-winged Blackbirds spend the winter in large flocks for safety and foraging. At night they find a place to roost together and rarely fly in the dark. Between winter weather and the scarcity of food, birds are in a fragile state. Add to that New Year's Eve fireworks. The birds are frightened and stressed, fly out from their roosting sites, unable to see well in the dark, and start to fly into each other, buildings,...

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