Aflockalypse Solved

Blackbird Mass Deaths: New Years 2010 to 2014 – Solved

(c) David Dilworth

Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve (2010-2011) between 3,000 and 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky in Beebe (Arkansas). Most were dead on the ground but some were living but dazed.” – Wikipedia

Red-winged Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbird

David’s Diagnosis:

What could cause rapid death of hundreds of birds and leave no physical trace and no hint of any disease ?

  1. It is widely agreed that the birds were startled into flight by fireworks exploding at New Year’s Eve celebrations. This identical phenomena occurred several New Years in a row.

2. The temperature that night at nearby Little Rock Air Force Base went down to 24 degrees Fahrenheit; well below freezing.

3. The birds were examined and found to have died of “blunt force trauma” – they suffered from “internal bleeding and blood clots in the body cavity.” Autopsy ruled out chemicals/poisons, infectious disease and gunshots.

4. What is rarely reported is that mass die offs of animals is not a rare occurrence. There are more than 150 reports of mass bird die offs in the United States in the past 100 years.

David’s Hypothesis:

Birds startled into flight by fireworks of New Year’s Eve celebrations and then flying into sub-freezing air – could have frozen to death while flying, or could have frozen enough to lose their ability to maintain or control their flying.

Freezing would cause them to fall, hitting the ground and giving them what was indeed death by blunt force trauma.

This hypothesis is consistent with all reported facts including —

  1. Other bird species suffered the same fate at the same time including Starlings and Grackles.
  2. Some birds found on the ground were dazed but alive.

Mystery Solved.

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Wikipedia article: 2010–11 midwinter animal mass death events

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