It looks like there is repeating of last year's start with mass bird death in Arkansas.Police in Beebe, a town in central Arkansas, reports death of dozens of blackbirds this weekend. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began receiving reports of dead black birds falling from the sky at approximately 11:30 p.m. CDT, according to a press release. On Saturday night officers banned residents from shooting fireworks as possible cause of mass bird death. Police were working with animal control workers and others to remove the birds and determine a death count.The AGFC collected 65 birds and sent them to be tested at the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis. Testing will begin on Monday and may be complete in a week. There are estimates that more than 1,000 birds had fallen before midnight. The birds were found in an area that is 1 mile long and 1/2 of a mile wide. No birds were found outside of this area. AccuWeather reports a storm with strong lightning strikes moved through the area of Beebe, Ark., Friday, shortly before birds were reported falling from the sky.
Lightning, high-altitude hail or stress from fireworks are all factors that are being considered as a cause of death for the birds, according to the Associated Press. Poisoning is not suspected to be a cause.
Thousands of dead blackbirds rained down on last New Year's Eve after revelers set off fireworks that spooked them from their roost. Scientists say the loud cracks and booms from celebratory fireworks likely sent the birds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths last New Year's Eve. The birds landed on roofs, sidewalks, streets and fields. The blackbird die-off, coupled with tens of thousands of dead drum fish that washed up on the shores of the Arkansas River, flung the state into the national headlines and drew conspiracy theorists and filmmakers to the town about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock that shares Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's last name. The Huffington Post explain that some people speculated that the birds had been poisoned; others said their deaths marked the beginning of the apocalypse.
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