Wisconsin lab says it solved blackbird die-off

Jan 07, 2011 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The mystery of the deaths of thousands of blackbirds in Arkansas this month has been solved, federal scientists say.

They died of blunt-force trauma, according to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. Samples of the blackbirds and others from a separate mass die-off about the same time in Louisiana were brought to the little-known laboratory on Madison's west side for necropsies.

"They died of impact force to their bodies," said Scott Wright, chief of disease investigations at the center.

He said the birds clearly showed signs of bruises.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said tests for evidence of pesticide poisoning were negative.

At least 3,000 red-winged blackbirds died on New Year's Eve near Beebe, Ark. Fireworks probably sent them flying from their roosts.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said the agency began receiving reports of blackbirds falling from the sky around 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 in a one-square-mile area of Beebe.

The mass kill spawned speculation that their demise was caused by a chemical pollutant-a fear heightened by the arrival in Beebe of workers combing neighborhoods in hazmat suits. As the story spread, other theories included biblical apocalypse to proof of the presence of UFOs.

"It's believed that the noise startled them-they are poor night fliers-and they were in close proximity to neighborhoods, and they flew into homes and cars," Wright said.

A separate incident near Baton Rouge, La., involving about 450 blackbirds is still under investigation by the center, Wright said.

"I think the two events are a coincidence," Wright said.

Also unrelated, he said, is the death of more than 80,000 freshwater drum, and a few yellow bass, white bass and sauger in the Arkansas River reported on Jan. 3.

Wright said large-scale deaths of birds and other species are not uncommon.

For example, storms wreak havoc on . Birds are also vulnerable to chemical pollution and biological poisoning from natural toxins.

For the blackbird species alone, there have been 16 incidents in which 1,000 or more birds have died in single events in the past five years, he said.

The lab analyzes 300 to 500 large die-off events each year. The deaths involve all wildlife-cases in 2010 included the demise of 4,500 bats from a fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome in Bucks County, Pa., and deaths of 150 raccoons, striped skunks, coyotes and red fox in Los Angeles County.

The lab's website shows nine separate mortality events since December. Eight of those events involved bird species and one involved the gunshot deaths of dozens of Brazilian free-tailed bats near Pima, Ariz.

The National Wildlife Health Center also played a key role in the study of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin's white-tailed deer population after an outbreak in February 2002.

"We don't know what we are going to get tomorrow, or the next day, but it will be something," Wright said.

Explore further: 'Shrinking goats' another indicator that climate change affects animal size

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User comments : 27

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pauljpease
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2011
I'm so glad that we've advanced beyond the age where such events are blamed on witchcraft, satan, or other non-existent causal agents!
dtxx
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2011
I'm so glad that we've advanced beyond the age where such events are blamed on witchcraft, satan, or other non-existent causal agents!


Intersting how the lab looks at 300-500 large die-offs a year, but if one gets on the news all the cults here in the US claim it's unique and a clear predecessor to armageddon. Why bother to check facts when you can try to scare more people into living by an ancient fairy tale?

This clearly means the world will end in may 2010, AMIRITE??
danlgarmstrong
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2011
I'm so glad that we've advanced beyond the age where such events are blamed on witchcraft, satan, or other non-existent causal agents!


Yeah - nowadays its terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. Be afraid...be VERY afraid!
apex01
3 / 5 (2) Jan 07, 2011
So do bird die offs like this happen every year?
Dr_Doe
1 / 5 (2) Jan 07, 2011
^^appearently upwards of 500 times a year... we're just hearing about them now though! BS, it's funny.... I don't see people saying they've seen this every year.... 16 in the last 5 years? I seen a news video saying it's was with-in the last 30 years?... Something is obviously going on! Even if this was as natural as they're now trying to convince everyone it is then why wasn't this said on day 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 etc... If it is natural then even they're BS can't explain why they're all happening around the same time all over?(eg.sweden, brazil, italy etc)
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2011
Well, how big does something need to be before it's counted as a "mass kill off"? 50? 100? 400? 500?
Paljor
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
There have been many reports of mass killoffs in other countries around the world (ex. 40, 000 crabs in britain) And they do use forensic science in their analasis'. Also I would like to add that it's not just these small animals it can be big ones too. (I don't know what defines a mass killoff though but i am assuming it is 50 or above.)
krierpat
5 / 5 (2) Jan 07, 2011
But, wouldn't impact force and bruising be the result of dying not the cause of death in the case of birds?
Kev_C
4 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2011
Well to suggest its a 'blunt-force trauma' injury from hitting houses and cars when all the pictures I have seen show these birds lying in the middle of nowhere its no wonder I will believe its not what they say it is. Anyway I reckon they were injured in this fashion from the impact of hitting the ground. After all they were alive only a few seconds before so the blood had not congealed by the time they hit the deck. Hence the bruising. Unless they were flying at sub space altitude before they fell the time for blood to congeal is a lot longer than the time gravity takes to bring them back to earth from their normal flying altitude.
Personally I reckon it was an alien space ship with a death ray. But then again I could be wrong. The witch curse could be the one......or maybe it is a sign of Armageddon? :)

So what did they die of again? It certainly wasn't blunt-force trauma.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (6) Jan 07, 2011
Scalar energy. A burst of scalar energy from yakuza generators smacked those little peckers right out if the sky, is my guess. Let's hope this turns out to be a fun year.

In related news, magnetic pole shift screws up Tampa airport-
http
://www.tampabay.com/news/transportation/tampa-airport-runway-closures-bring-noise-to-neighborhoods/1144240
Skepticus
5 / 5 (4) Jan 07, 2011
Okay, they died from blunt force trauma. That is the physical appearance of the corpses. But that doesn't point to a definite cause of death. People reported in "birds falling from sky". Of all 3000-odd bird deaths, despite the "close proximity to neighborhoods, and they flew into homes and cars", as Wright said, not a single definitive proof nor witness conclusively said "birds are hitting my house/car"! You see the contradiction? And it's NY time, too, with peple usually outside and about.
So for me the truth is still out there. It doesn't help that the SOP of goverment in case of mystery is always: "Reassure the public first. Keeping them happy. Keep them under control. Try to deal with the problem. Then when we bother, we will tell them. Or some damn traitors will leak the truth."
MadLintElf
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2011
If Julian Assange is released maybe...

Die offs happen when red tides hit beaches, this is Arkansas, no beaches.

As for the blunt force trauma, I'm very skeptical (skepticus), question all authority, never rest with the "it's okay, nothing to worry about answers".

The truth wants to be known.

BB from Bensonhurst Brooklyn, NYC
geokstr
1.9 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2011
Why bother to check facts when you can try to scare more people into living by an ancient fairy tale?

Actually, I am totally amazed, given the political slant of this site, that that modern fairy tale, "Climate Chaos", wasn't implicated - yet.

Maybe it has to do with the birdies getting confused by changing wind patterns caused by all those big propellers on telephone poles that are popping up these days. (/sarc)
QuantaUniverseCom
1 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2011
Cosmic rays from outer space at increased levels could cause seeing flashes of light and cause flying birds to panic into bruising collisions. Buzz saw during his moon flight light flashes and felt panic it could worsen and not be able to see. QuantaUniverse.com
Skepticus
not rated yet Jan 07, 2011
...I'm very skeptical (skepticus), question all authority, never rest with the "it's okay, nothing to worry about answers"...


I'd assume you are not legally adult yet. Is it okay for me to make all the decisions and thinking for you?
DGBEACH
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 07, 2011
Maybe they just fell asleep...the blunt force trauma was caused by the ground hitting their heads! Mystery solved. Now, let's get onto solving the world's real problems...like finding drinkable water for 1/2 of the world's population!!!
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2011
Now, let's get onto solving the world's real problems...like finding drinkable water for 1/2 of the world's population!!!


In terms of engineering, that's been solved many decades ago, but for some reason you can't actually get governments and businesses to implement the solutions.
neurosine
1 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2011
So obviously the blackbirds needed fish, but the fish were all floating dead and bloated, and eventually the blackbirds fell to the ground from lack of sustenance...causing blunt force trauma...why did the fish die? Why bother with possibly causal clues...The 3000 some odd birds obviously mistook the asphalt for the sky and took a head dive. Any skateboarder could confirm that this is really quite normal and nothing to be concerned about...hey..is that J-Lo?
analogkid
5 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2011
Funny that none of the residents saw or heard birds hitting their houses, cars, etc.
tearsoftechnology
1 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2011
Blunt trauma? Yea, they fell out the sky and hit the ground. What made them just drop from the sky though?

They do not know and its happening all over the world, STILL. Just happened yesterday in Taiwan.

Some birds who usually fly to Africa for the winter, ended up in Siberia. Wake up! It's the magnetic field weakening!
tearsoftechnology
1 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2011
Intersting how the lab looks at 300-500 large die-offs a year, but if one gets on the news all the cults here in the US claim it's unique and a clear predecessor to armageddon. Why bother to check facts when you can try to scare more people into living by an ancient fairy tale?

This clearly means the world will end in may 2010, AMIRITE??


Millions of animals have died all over the world in a matter of a few days. Get a clue bro. Its not myths and legends. Its the Magnetic field. You do some research.
Cave_Man
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
Gosh are scientists really that dumb? All this means is that they probably became paralyzed or otherwise unable to perform flight body movements and then hit the ground while "locked up".

Conclusions to jump to would be they died mid-air and fell, they were affected by something and became unable to fly/breath/see/sense up or down/who knows and were killed essentially by gravity, but my instinct tells me chemicals or rapid (unnatural) temp change is whats killing all these animals! (more birds yesterday in diff state fell out of sky, very sad thing to witness)
ry393939393
not rated yet Jan 25, 2011
I'm sure this was said as I didn't read the the comments but:

All this means to me is that for some reason the birds fell from the sky and died when they hit the ground. I think it was the oil spill hands down.
Bow
1 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
If any of you actually believe that most of these
'incidents' are 'natural' phenomena then you may as well believe that the cancer rate in American humans leaping from 3% 40 years ago, to plus-33% now, is also NATURAL. What a lot of 'science' is about these days is collusion with big government. 'They' do not wish you to know that your food-intake is tainted, especially the processed type. 'They' also do not wish it to be known that in general, Big Business is screwing with and has screwed actively the natural planet, in the name of commerce. But there is so
much more going on. The De-population agenda of the elite since Kissinger's Memorandum 200 of 1974 has been accelerated. In brief, they wish to kill as many of us off as possible, so if you go hunting or raise your own food, this is an obstacle because you are too healthy in mind and body. We should all remember that on a daily basis, your health relies on what you take in, through mouth, nose & skin.
So do our wild cousins.
Bow
1 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
Of course it was the B.P. inspired Oil-spill, along with the many other un-natural events certain men/women are inflicting on the rest of us! This along with the many toxic elements involved in keeping Big Business solvent. The list is endless, but look at the real consequences of GM in Argentina and Africa. Look at the real consequences of
companies like MONSANTO attempting to take over the global food chain and the supply of it. The so-called food-crisis in certain parts of the world has been created by the money-men and the localised greed of the political establishment. There is NO food-crisis, only the interference on a grand scale by the powers-that-be. The end goal is population decimation in order to bring us down to a controlled level. It's capitalism for them and socialism for us:
'The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see; observe things as they are and don't pay attention to other people' - Huang Po
psygirl604
1 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
I hope some people discounting "non-natural" explanations are not ruling out things like HAARP or other waves of energy invisible to the eye. Many of those same people presumably listen to the radio (and probably eat food from microwave ovens)? I used to live near Lockheed-Martin that used to do some seeminly otherworldly sound experiments.

Yes, they died of blunt force trauma. They fell from great heights and HIT THE GROUND. You may as well sum it up in one word and say they died of: "Splat". If there is military or industry nearby you can almost be sure it was from man-made toxic pollution be it chemical or mechanical (including the "invisible" kind).

I think the biggest point to be made is that these thousands of birds all fell at the SAME time. It happens rarely in nature but it does happen. Strange weather has been known to make it rain frogs. So all we are asking is what made it happen? We are not afraid of the truth but I suspect we also won't like the answer very much
dontubelieveit
1 / 5 (1) Jan 26, 2011
If you think they're gonna tell us the truth about this, you also don't realize cancer and AIDS are quite curable, and notice how each animal has a different name for MAD COW disease? So you won't know what it rally is?? Deer in Yellowstone have also been found with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) AKA MAD COW!!!! Yes, you had better start getting worried, and do your own research! You won't find out the truth about anything otherwise. Anyone that thinks its natural for these animals to die like this is nuts! Besides the fact the few if any birds flew into buildings, their innards were liquefied!!