New Year’s resembled an Alfred Hitchcock classic in Arkansas as residents observed thousands of birds fall from the sky overnight.
The initial reports of the dead red-winged blackbirds in Beebe, Arkansas came into the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission around 11:30 pm on New Year’s Eve. Employees initially thought it was some sort of joke.
The corpses were gathered and many were sent to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission laboratory and to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. There they will undergo autopsies and testing to determine the cause of death.
There have been many theories as to what caused the several thousand birds to literally drop from the sky suddenly. Poisoning was ruled out as a cause and the air was tested for toxins and came back clean. Some potential reasons given include high altitude hail, lightening strikes and even being startled by fireworks.
Testing results on the dead birds in Arkansas could be back in as soon as a week.