La. has mass bird kill just days after Ark. - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

La. has mass bird kill just days after Ark.

Posted: Updated:
Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Brandon Doss examines dead red-winged blackbirds at the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Diagnostic Laboratory in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, Jan. 3, 2011. Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Brandon Doss examines dead red-winged blackbirds at the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Diagnostic Laboratory in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.
  • RelatedMore>>

  • Labs seek clues after 3,000 birds die in Arkansas

    Labs seek clues after 3,000 birds die in Arkansas

    Monday, January 3 2011 3:56 PM EST2011-01-03 20:56:58 GMT
    Wildlife experts are trying to solve a mystery that evoked images of the apocalypse: Why did more than 3,000 red-winged blackbirds tumble from the Arkansas sky shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve? 
    Wildlife experts are trying to solve a mystery that evoked images of the apocalypse: Why did more than 3,000 red-winged blackbirds tumble from the Arkansas sky shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve? 

BEEBE, Ark. (AP) – Blackbirds are having hard time staying alive in the Southeast. Just a few days after 3,000 blackbirds fell from the sky in Arkansas, about 500 birds dropped to their death in Louisiana, littering a quarter-mile stretch of highway near Baton Rouge. It wasn't clear if the deaths were linked, but such massive wildlife kills are far from uncommon.

Biologists were trying to figure out what killed the birds in rural Pointe Coupee Parish, La. About 300 miles to the north, in the small town of Beebe in central Arkansas, scientists said celebratory fireworks on New Year's Eve likely sent thousands of discombobulated blackbirds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths. Still, officials acknowledged it's unlikely they'll ever pinpoint a cause with certainty.

Wildlife officials in both Arkansas and Louisiana were sending carcasses to researchers at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. and the University of Georgia, but it's not clear the bird deaths were related.

In Beebe, New Year's revelers spent the holiday weekend cleaning up between 4,000 and 5,000 dead red-winged blackbirds. Some speculated that bad weather was to blame. Others said one confused bird could have led the group in a fatal plunge. A few spooked schoolkids guessed the birds committed mass suicide.

"There was probably some physical reason, but I doubt anyone will ever know what it was," said Thurman Booth, the state's wildlife services director.

The birds were the second mass wildlife death in Arkansas in recent days. Last week, about 83,000 dead and dying drum fish washed up along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, about 100 miles west of Beebe. Wildlife officials say the fish deaths are not related to the dead birds, and that because mainly one species of fish was affected, it is likely they were stricken by an illness. Full test results could take up to a month.

The U.S. Geological Service's website lists about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12. Five list deaths of at least 1,000 birds and another 12 show at least 500 dead birds.

The largest was near Houston, Minn., where about 4,000 water birds died between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26 from infestations of various parasites.

Red-winged blackbirds are among North America's most abundant birds, with somewhere between 100 million and 200 million nationwide, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y.

___

Associated Press writers Kelly P. Kissel and Chuck Bartels in Little Rock; Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans and Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • San Carlos woman accused of killing family then living with bodies

    San Carlos woman accused of killing family then living with bodies

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:33 AM EDT2017-09-19 13:33:04 GMT

    A San Carlos woman murdered her 14-year-old daughter and her spouse, then planted a gun next to his body and stayed in the family's home with the bodies for several days without calling police, a prosecutor alleged Monday.

     

    A San Carlos woman murdered her 14-year-old daughter and her spouse, then planted a gun next to his body and stayed in the family's home with the bodies for several days without calling police, a prosecutor alleged Monday.

     
  • SDSU student killed trying to cross Interstate 8

    SDSU student killed trying to cross Interstate 8

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:32 AM EDT2017-09-19 13:32:43 GMT

    San Diego State and students are mourning the loss of a student whose family says died while trying to cross Interstate 8 on foot Saturday night.    

     

    San Diego State and students are mourning the loss of a student whose family says died while trying to cross Interstate 8 on foot Saturday night.    

     
  • City to kick off Hepatitis A prevention campaign

    City to kick off Hepatitis A prevention campaign

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:22 AM EDT2017-09-19 13:22:21 GMT

    With the number of documented hepatitis A cases continuing to rise, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego County health officials and several civic leaders will join together Tuesday to kick off a “Vaccination, Sanitation and Education” campaign to urge the public to take appropriate precautions.

     

    With the number of documented hepatitis A cases continuing to rise, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego County health officials and several civic leaders will join together Tuesday to kick off a “Vaccination, Sanitation and Education” campaign to urge the public to take appropriate precautions.

     
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.