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Another 500 dead birds fall from US skies

This time, it’s Louisiana, about 300 miles away from the Arkansas site where thousands of dead birds were found at the weekend.

Dead birds lying on the ground at Beebe, Arkansas, on Sunday.
Dead birds lying on the ground at Beebe, Arkansas, on Sunday.
Image: AP Photo/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Stephen B. Thornton

MORE DEAD BIRDS have fallen from the sky in the US – this time in Louisiana.

Thousands of red-winged blackbirds and starlings were found dead in Beebe, Arkansas on New Year’s Eve, and scientists are still working to determine the cause of their deaths.

Yesterday, the AP reported that some 500 dead birds of several species, including the two in Arkansas, were discovered along a quarter-mile stretch of a highway in Louisiana.

Tests have already shown that the birds in Arkansas suffered serious internal injuries, but speculation over the cause of those injuries continues.

The birds may have become disoriented because of fireworks to celebrate New Year or an electrical storm, and as a result flown lower and struck numerous objects. Tests for poisoning and avian infections won’t be concluded until next week.

Greg Butcher, director of the bird conservation at the Audubon Socieity, told the Guardian: “Mass bird die-offs can be caused by starvation, storms, disease, pesticide, collision with man-made structures or human disturbance … Initial findings indicate that these are isolated incidents that were probably caused by disturbance and disorientation”.

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The Huffington Post reports that wildlife officials say the discovery of around 83,000 dead fish about 100 miles from the Arkansas birds is unrelated.

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