Hmmm…

January 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm (Birds, End of the World, News) (, , )

So Arkansas is off the hook. Birds decided to end it all in LA too. (Louisiana, ya’ll) Here’s another story, from the Associated Press. Thank you to Jeannie Nuss. I re-posted it without alteration. Enjoy.

Louisiana has mass bird kill just days after Arkansas

JEANNIE NUSS • Associated Press • January 4, 2011

BEEBE, Ark. — 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.

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News from the armpit of America

January 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm (Big Fish, Birds, End of the World, News) (, , , , , , , , )

As I fondly refer to the state of Arkansas. And for all you about to jump on the comments, just know that I call it the armpit out of love (and because armpit starts with an A, and I like the repetition of it all).  My daddy moved there, lived there, died there, and is buried there. I have been to Arkansas several times and don’t plan on going back anytime soon. It’s pretty and country and closes early. It has modern parts and really backward parts and now it has alot of dead parts. Unconfirmed, of course, as to what is causing the deadness. I think it’s very interesting so I reposted the article I found that kind of summed up the birds and the fish, with links I believe, in case you want to explore further and don’t have anything else to do tonight (especially since football is no longer an option—sad face). The whole thing is below. My favorite explanation so far is the end-of-the-world thing. I personally have been talking about it for some time, ever since I saw the special on Krakatoa (the volcano) and its part in the destruction of life as we know it. It’s one small reason why I wanted to be a nurse. I plan on living. So I have to start my shelter construction and supply gathering as soon as I graduate in May. I’ll have the money to do it, the knowledge to keep us alive for awhile, and access to hospitals and medicines. The kids are used to it. They think I may be crazy but these dead animals should change their minds! I realize that other stuff has happened lately that’s much cheerier, like Christmas and New Years, and I have stuff like pictures and things, but the mass killing really grabbed my attention and felt post worthy, especially with my close, personal, family connection. I have to hurry because my 4 shot vodka martini is kicking in and it’s getting hard to type. Don’t worry the kids are gone with their dad for the evening. It’s all good. So enjoy the article!

Thank you to “The LookOut” a Yahoo News source, and Brett Michael Dykes for writing it. I haven’t altered it, just re-posted it for more people to read.

Oh yeah! And Happy New Year!

Mon Jan 3, 12:10 pm ET

 

Thousands of dead birds and fish in Arkansas leave many

scratching heads

By Brett Michael Dykes

(sorry I don’t know what the hell that is below there, or why I can’t get rid of it)

Maybe the Mayans were on to something?

That’s surely what students of the famed Mayan 2012 prophecy for the end of the world had to be thinking with the news of recent eerie wildlife die-offs in Arkansas. Just as the calendar nudged a year closer to that fateful date, birds began falling from the sky in Arkansas and  a massive fish kill occurred some 125 miles to the west.

[Rewind: Mysterious bee deaths explained]

Roughly 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky over a mile of land near Beebe, a small town in northwest Arkansas, and observers spotted the fish kill near the town of Ozark. You can watch a video report on the blackbirds below, courtesy of ABC News:

CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE WITHOUT SEARCHING THE SITE

And here’s a CNN report on the incidents:

CLICK IT

No one seems to know just yet what caused the two die-offs. But theories abound.

In a statement Saturday morning, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission quoted staff ornithologist Karen Rowe as saying that such events have happened before around the world: “Test results usually were inconclusive, but the birds showed physical trauma and that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail.”

[Rewind: Haunting images of Gulf Coast oil spill]

Because it happened New Year’s Eve, some officials suggest that revelers shooting fireworks may have spooked the birds, to the point that they died en masse from stress-induced cardiac arrest.

“It is unlikely they were poisoned,” Rowe said, “but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin.” Tests were to begin Monday.

Click image to see photos of the dead birds


Daily Citizen/Warren Watkins, via AP

Meanwhile, wildlife officials say that the estimated 100,000 drum discovered by a tugboat captain over a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River appears to be a natural occurrence that isn’t tied to the bird kill in any way.

[Photos: Massive fish kill hits Louisiana]

“The fish kill only affected one species of fish,” Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told CNN. “If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish.” He added that fish kills in the area are common, though this one was larger than most.

UPDATE: A state veterinarian tells NBC that preliminary necropsy results show that the birds died of “multiple blunt trauma to their vital organs.”

(Screengrab via CNN)

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