Animals dead bird Arkansas

Published on January 4th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Over 3,000 Birds Mysteriously Die, Fall from Sky in Arkansas

January 4th, 2011 by

Here’s a crazy story (thanks to one of our loyal readers, Kristen Farquhar, for passing it on to me). On New Year’s Eve in the small Arkansas town of Beebe, blackbirds starting raining down from the sky. Concerned citizens called the odd occurrence in and once the Game and Fish Commission confirmed this wasn’t a prank, it sent one of its wildlife officers to look into it — sure enough, blackbirds had fallen from the sky.

Environmental services collected 2,000 of the dead birds but say the total number killed is over 3,000. Some they couldn’t get to and some were certainly snatched up by scavengers like cats.

It is quite clear the birds died from “blunt trauma.” “The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages,” said Karen Rowe, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist.

The reports starting coming in after a series of loud noises:

Neighbors reported five to 12 booming noises in the eastern part of Beebe, a community of 5,000 northeast of Little Rock. “They reported it sounding like a cannon or transformer exploding,” but officials are still investigating to find out what the noises were, Rowe said.

Fireworks?

So, what did the birds hit. Well, that’s the question. Here are some ideas, as well as reasons why they don’t make sense:

  • maybe it was a fast-acting pesticide (no, “because they would have eaten it during the day and died long before they began to roost at night”);
  • maybe it was a slow-acting pesticide (no, because it “wouldn’t have affected them all at the same time”);
  • maybe it was a hail storm (unlikely, as “they would have had to be flying for that to happen, and at that hour red-wing blackbirds are asleep”);
  • bad weather had hit the region on Friday,.. maybe lightning or hail could have caused the death (but a local forecaster said that the worst of that weather was well east of Beebe by the time the birds died);
  • maybe the birds were scared by some loud fireworks and started flying but tried to avoid the upper sky due to the fireworks and flew into buildings and other obstructions (Robert Meese, an avian ecologist at the University of California-Davis, says: “I don’t see any way that they could have flown into obstructions, because then the birds should have been at the base of the objects. … This was a scattering.”)

Well, we’re running out of ideas here.

“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced and I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” Keith Stephens of the Game and Fish Commission says. “I’ll bet you I’ve had 100 calls today, I’ve done 25 interviews. I did Al-Jazeera live last night.”

I would have to lean towards thinking the birds were hit by hail, fireworks themselves, or were scared by the fireworks and flew into buildings and other obstructions (of course, there are reasons above why each of those possibilities may not be true).

If you have any more knowledge on this matter, please share it below.

Related Stories:
1. Birds Fall from the Sky in More Places
2. More Possible Explanations for Mass Bird Deaths, Birds Falling from Sky

3. Mass Bird & Fish Deaths Caused by Hydraulic Fracking & Earthquakes?
4. Sudden Fish Kills, Bird Die-offs, and Other “Fortean” Events

Photo Credit: Warren Watkins/AP via USA TODAY

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • john doe

    yeah it had nothing to do with natural gas.

  • john doe

    yeah it had nothing to do with natural gas.

  • Brandon P

    This may have already been addressed; however, birds can sense the magnetic field of the earth. With this in mind, they could be very sensitive to ANY changes with the magnetoshere. The earth’s axis is off–and quite a bit! Just check out Nasa’s Earth Observatory. They do say that they believe that the Japan earthquake tilted the axis of the earth. I, however, know different. Anyhow, this is a completely strange phenomena and I encourage everyone to give a much deeper look to the underlying cause.

  • WTH

    I think this is more than it appears. I live in Collierville, Tn and I work in Lakeland, Tn. I drive down Collierville Arlington every day to work. A couple of days before I heard on the radio about the birds in Arkansas, I was driving to work and could not believe my eyes over all the dead birds on the street. I could not even go around them. They were every where!!! Then I heard about the birds a few days later in Arkansas. Nobody even mentioned the birds in Tenessee. I think there is more to this than they are letting on!

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  • http://Web theresa grillo

    Defense Department is experimenting with criminal weapons deployed by satellite – microwave, DEW, electromagetic. At Guantanamo mind control experimentation was used on Detainees – these hideous videos have not been released. Birds at NY Airport may be so explained. NY Metro area has geese flying this winter — extreme abnormality. Help get this out. Thanks

  • http://Web ss Mili

    Hi everyone, this is ss from Danmark. Lisen i think i know what is going on, in swden about 3-4 jan this same happend to over 600 birds at the same time/secone.
    An i have talking to the govermentwho is trying to make a cover up, but i got to talk with anouther man who worked for the Goverment11 years ago. AND i told me this have happend before , when the observing a Undexplained objekt in the sky, vitnesses the saide after the obejkt, was gone 3 secons afrter ther came a big bang. and 2 hours later ther were repports of died birds all over that place, so what the objekt was a UFO ore some militery top secret some thing i dont know, but there was a objekt in the skys that day this is for sure.And maby there are some vitnesses in the USA but have like the ones in sweden bin told to keep there mouth shut about the axsedent, this was his job, theis man from the goverment i talked to to make pepole keed ther mouth shut…

    So wgat was the Objekt in the sky“`?????

    a UFO?

    A militerry experment gone wrong ore “right”?

    one thins is sure even the media in Sweden and in the US were ordered to keep a lid on this event, so thats why there was not alot in the news at the time, becose think about it, they ran the story for 2-3 days and that was it??? i mean this is nuts, a normal repporter would make a big story about this, but they did not gues why!!!

    Hope to fin dthe truth some day about this, but the chase is a long one….

    Best regards
    XXXX

  • http://Web Wayne

    Could the US government project HARP be responsible for this? Maybe an experiment that didn’t go as planned?

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  • http://Web scotthambly

    magnetic field, flux or disruption of Earths magnetic field.

  • http://Web Shade

    for the people who believe it apocoliptical…your ignorant, it speaks in the bible when all have heard the word of christ it’l happen, there are still many people who dont know who “God” is or what Jesus did for us. no im no christian but i do my research and i do it well. thank you.

    • Jory

      All it says is that the Gospel will be preached unto all the world, and then the end will come. Check out thetrumpet.com, the Gospel has already been preached to all the world, but people don’t want to hear it

  • http://Web hannah

    well……. ive watched the 2012 film and the birds were fallin from the sky in 2011 on the film…… and the calender ends on 21st december 2012……. i think the apocolypse is startin….. i honestly think the worlds comin to an end…….. a man years ago, predicted 3 things that came true like haiti and tsunami and something else, that i cant remember, then before he died he predicted the 2012(doomsday) …… now to me it looks definatly like the end is coming………

    • http://Web Ages

      Hannah, wow that is so convincing and scary, but there is one fatal flaw in your theory… you are forgetting about the person who has yogurt that expires in 2013. Totally heard about it on facebook, so the world is obviously not going to end in 2012. Was a good thought tho…. :p

  • http://planetsave.com/2011/01/04/over-3000-birds-mysteriously-die-fall-from-sky-in-arkansas/ jimmy

    if weather, pollution, and fireworks is not the affections then my theories is(forgive me for my thinking of nonsense) world war 3 is coming soon, another civil war in america. if water is polluted then why is it only the drumfish? if its pollution,weather, and fireworks why doesn’t it affect the other birds? there are many other species but why is it only drumfish and black birds? this is the sign of something ugly will happen to the United States of America. meaning that if war starts the White people will end up like the fish and other race would end up to be like the birds. Why is it on new year’s eve? It could of happen on a different time of the year but why on new years? Will this (to me) is a sign of the future that something goes wrong, war will happen and white people who have 70% control of the water and land will end up like the drumfish and other race with only 30% of land and water will be the birds.

  • http://Web shoua

    if weather, pollution, and fireworks is not the affections then my theories is(forgive me for my thinking of nonsense) world war 3 is coming soon, another civil war in america. if water is polluted then why is it only the drumfish? if its pollution,weather, and fireworks why doesn’t it affect the other birds? there are many other species but why is it only drumfish and black birds? this is the sign of something ugly will happen to the United States of America. meaning that if war starts the White people will end up like the fish and other race would end up to be like the birds.

    • http://planetsave.com/2011/01/04/over-3000-birds-mysteriously-die-fall-from-sky-in-arkansas/comment-page-1/#comments shoua

      and Why is it on new year’s eve? It could of happen on a different time of the year but why on new years? Will this (to me) is a sign of the future that something goes wrong, war will happen and white people who have 70% control of the water and land will end up like the drumfish and other race with only 30% of land and water will be the birds.

  • http://Web birdlover

    The birds and fish are dead because our US Government is testing a poisonous gas called PHOSGENE. This is the most feared chemical weapon. This gas is stored at the PINE BLUFF MILITARY BASE, the largest BioWeapons Chemical Warefare facility in America…located in ARKANSAS!!!

  • http://Bigsky Kathi monte

    I see that FRACKING natural gas extraction is newly a global phenomenon and appears to be deathly toxic. Is there a correlation between the bird, fish death sites and FRACKING sites?

  • http://Web ineedanswers

    See the thing is if they hit buildings they would be at the base of the buildings like think about when a bird hits your window its always at the base of it not far away, and it says they’d have to hit something very hard well what the hell are they going to hit hard when their flying? AND WHAT ABOUT THE FISH?

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  • http://Web questiontheanswers

    Also, wouldn’t the action of the birds falling to the ground at a fast speed (because of sudden death) cause “blunt trauma”? I think this was a result, not the cause, of the birds falling.

  • http://Web questiontheanswers

    my theories…

    1) there is a new kind of firework or chemical in fireworks that caused a poisoning to the fish and birds. i don’t buy that it was fireworks alone. (if there is something more sinister at work here, we are not supposed to know because we are being given all these quick answers about fireworks, a storm, hail, cold water being responsible for the fish, etc.)

    2) it was purposely caused by the government to distract us and the media from something else that is/was going on right now.

    • http://Web Me

      Agreed

  • http://Web ZhaDono

    Its all a conspiracy the government is obviously testing an experimental weapon any other type of explanation is pure unadulterated bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yeaaaaaaaaaaaahh

    • http://Web Brandi

      Fully AGREED!!! That was the first thing I thought of. All I had to hear was over 3000 birds dropping from the sky and I kinda figured…

  • http://Web Liz

    Fireworks wouldn’t do this to that many birds. We all know that. My thoughts are maybe a sonic boom.

    I shared your link on my facebook page.

    Liz

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  • http://Web Charles

    As i mentioned in my previous post birds and fish navigate with their sense with respect to the earths magnetic field…. this gives a link between the thousands of fishes that washed ashore dead and the birds that drop dead

  • http://Web Charles

    Hi have any one thought about pole shifting …… just look into how birds navigate …. magnetic field ,sonar etc…. may be the answer lies in there ..if thats where the answer is then its serious ,now its the birds next will be us

  • Pingback: Over 100,000 Fish, Over 3,000 Birds Die in Arkansas.. How? – EcoLocalizer

  • http://Fireworks Alfredo de Batuc

    Fireworks Theory._ Is this the first time in history that there are fireworks in that part of the world?
    If not, does this happen every time there are fireworks?

    Storm Theory.- Is this the first time in history that there is a storm in that part of the world?
    If not, does this happen every time there is a storm?

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      yeah, the point with the fireworks one, would be if some pranksters decided to shoot the fireworks into a big roost of them… i think. but i think this is unlikely

  • http://Web Pacmanvice

    2012 is coming early, thats about it.

    • http://Web hannah

      yup agreed!! ;)

  • http://Web Alfredo

    I’ve heard a lot of bad guesses, including blaming the hispanics, but ill go with the goverment launching a new plan to destroy the world.

    • http://Web Brandi

      The government found something that kills all the birds just like that, all they have to do is alter it now and figure out how it can kill the human population. I heard alot of the birds had blood clots and other unexplained health defects too.

  • http://Web guywhoknows

    for all the people who have their heads up their ass , i suggest you take some time to look into the ALIEN INVASION that is taking place as i type this. they are everywhere all over the world,imitating airplanes, and hovering around as bright balls of light. my theory, birds died fromsomething to do with them, perhaps cloaked ufo?

  • http://Web M Evans

    Internal hemorrhaging sounds very much like microwaves to me. Are their any Military bases nearby or airports with new radar systems? Maybe the US Military are refining their energetics weapons, this is not a natural phenomena.

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      sounds like there are,.. (see John’s comment above)

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  • http://Web ladyska

    Perhaps there was some kind of sonic boom. Maybe sonar’s were being tested somewhere and the frequency of them created a sonic boom that only affected the birds. Although why would it only affect one species of bird? I’m not buying the firework theory at all. Fireworks have been used for many years surely this would have happened before if fireworks were to blame.

  • http://Web Eric P Murray

    It is possible that lighting struck and hit the birds in flight causing slight equal librim distubance in the birds and the trama they suffered was the force from hitting the ground. The lightining theory is good but the birds could not have been grounded while in flight. So the only way for lightining to be the cause is the sudden collision of electrons and protons to have been displaced and cause the birds sense of direction to be lost and with no sense of the earths natural gravitational pull or lack there of mid air collisions occured and loss of sense of direction causing birds to fly or free fall straigt to the ground?

    • http://Web Alfredo

      well then the birds would have burned, wouldnt they

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  • Pingback: Mass Death of Red-Winged Blackbirds – Ecoscraps

  • http://Web Joan

    There’s no voo-doo out there as some may want to to think nor aliens, I still say it was fireworks on New years eve.

  • http://Web Joan

    I still say they were struck by fireworks.

  • http://www.joemohrtoons.com Joe Mohr

    This is scary stuff. Happening in other place too…

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  • http://Web anadora

    Well you never know what could happen to these poor pitiful birds. Could they have been hit by a plane? The strange part is how could all of them die at one time? I’m very concerned on how this happen and why? Something needs to be done we need answers.

  • http://Web Harleigh

    Musta been some of invisible alien UFO.

  • http://Web natas

    how about a sonicboom ? that could happen anywhere. do miltary planes fly this area ?

  • http://Web Amber Lynne Green

    M. Night Shyamalan, The Happening. Its actually happening!! First the birds turn on themselves, then aquatic creatures, next will be the land animals. We’re in with the land animals’ group.
    Mad world.

  • http://planetsave.com eli anderson

    dam thats crazy i mean wat next i mean wat about all the kids in life i mean i want my kids to be able to c life as long as we can go

  • http://community.importantmedia.org/davidanderson/ David Anderson

    Other stories of similar stuff happening are popping up too — one in Kentucky, and another in Japan. The Japanese think it’s a new bird flu. Woo!

    • http://Web jarariel simmons

      Wow this is amazing the world is coming to an end quickly……

      quickly

  • http://Web asdfidk

    they died from toxins in the air

  • http://Web Michael

    Isnt this predicted to be the beginning of the epocalypse?

    • http://Web Chrissy7034

      There was a film featuring birds falling from the sky and fish floating on the water. It’s something to do with the leaking of a certain gas. There may have been a shift change in either land mass or the core of the earth. This will release deadly gasses and funnily enough yes, this isn’t a good sign.

      • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

        hmm, any idea what the name of that film was? sounds similar for sure.

  • http://birds Steve

    How about an airplane flying into them or a sonic boom ?

  • http://Web d vaughn

    what if it was just an invisible force field?

  • http://Web karen a

    WOW

  • http://Web me

    Maybe the “blunt trauma” was when they hit the GROUND…

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      hmm, that seems plausible… but why did they hit the ground is the question..

  • http://Web Ron

    So here is what I understand:

    3,000 blackbirds fall dead from the sky!

    No Toxins (poisons)found in autopsy
    No In path obstructions to hit
    No “Direct” weather related issues

    People heard loud “Booms” from a neighboring location just prior to the bird death event…

    Here’s my untrained theory… ‘Fireworks’. The first couple of booms would have disturbed the birds on the ground level… They fly up in panic, the next explosions killed the birds as the bird flew into a concussion path of the explosions… The concussion waves hitting the birds would cause internal damage/internal bleeding thus explaining the hemeraging found within the dead birds. If any one of the explosions went off near ground level, (a rouge firework), that would do it as well would it not. It’s a fluke to say the least…

    Just as police or military use “flash bang” or concussion grenades to disorient or immobilize an enemy with light & concussion effects, imagine a flock of frightened and somewhat disoriented birds flying into the explosion path of a fireworks display. You know not the pretty flowering fireworks but the “cannon like” booms. Kind of like going fishing with a stick of dynamite or a hand grenade… Same basic effect! The birds would take internal damages that would cause internal bleeding over time and excellerated by the exertion of flight and panic. They litterally bled to death while in flight…

    I’d be curious to find out if there is a death path leading back to the source or location of the “BOOMS”?

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      yeah,.. i think your idea is the most plausible. experts say the birds would have been sleeping and being woken by the fireworks they would not fly so high,.. but… (seems like a good answer to me)

    • http://Web C

      But how does that theory explain the thousands of dead fish?

      • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

        supposedly unrelated. but….

    • http://Web c
    • http://Web Alfredo

      please dont mention fireworks anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!! there was no burns on them, and there was internal organ disorder. explain that

      • http://Web C.J

        they very clearly just did….they didnt say they were hit by fireworks, just scared or in close proximity to the blasts

  • http://Web Natalia

    There is a new gas pipeline stretching across that part of the state from Beebe to NW Arkansas. There was a drum fish die off in NW arkansas near the line.

    I have heard there has been a lot of exploratory mining for natural gas all along that area. There have been numerous small earthquakes in nearby Guy Arkansas.

    Loud noises were heard prior to the dead bird fall

    The birds show evidence of physical trauma (they smacked into something)

    My guess: A pocket of methane gas blew from the gas mining area. The birds passed out. Trauma was induced when they smacked into the ground or a building.

    The drum fish kill could also be a gas related thing

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Wow, that’s an interesting possibility. Seems like that could be it. I heard about the fish die-off, too.. but not the cause of it.

  • http://Web Dave

    LOL one hard thing they definitely hit after falling out of the sjy was THE GROUND! They definitely hit it hard

  • http://Web Jarrit Wayne Sachan

    Was there an electrical feild acting over the region, that of which is distinct from other regions of activity that house Red-Wing blackbirds?

  • http://Web Rich Miles

    Due to the swarming earthquakes in Arkansas recently –http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/12/24/Clues-sought-in-Arkansas-earthquake-swarm/UPI-16101293217985/ – – methane gas and other gases from the earth have been released into the waters and atmosphere killing our unsuspecting fish and birds. The two major earthquakes in Chili and Mexico this year are on the plate connected to the San Andreas Fault. Los Angeles is next. The New Madrid Fault line is what is making the Arkansas swarms and that is where the earth will likely separate. This also explains the recent earthquakes in Indiana(on the New Madrid Fault line). BE PREPARED. Solar Storm, Solar system Planet Alignment, and polar shift all scheduled for 2012. What is land now will be covered in water and the old city of Atlantis may very well become dry. It happens. Did you know that under the ICE in Antartica an dNorth Pole are beautiful green fields of grass with colorful flowers and plants that were frozen still in time? God Speed Humans.

    • http://Web Alfredo

      that would have killed more than a thousand OF MORE THAN ONE SPIECES

  • http://Web Aimee

    aliens

  • Benny Acosta

    Perhaps there were aircraft flying at supersonic speed and the sonic boom was what knocked the birds out of the sky.

  • Ryan Rooney

    Invisible UFO. Nuff said.

  • http://Web Taylor Davis

    I drove through the town of Beebe on thursday afternoon, the day before the birds fell out of the sky and I looked out one window of our vehicle. To the left of us in the air were thousands of blackbirds. I was in absolute awe it looked like something out of the movie, The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. My step father works in Beebe and he said that there is always that many of them every day when he drives by the particular area that they roost in. It was some sight. I’d really like to know why they fell out of the sky though, that’s bizarre.

  • http://Web Mr. Serenius

    Most of us believe a storm may of caused their demise.

  • http://Web tj

    dosent this kinda seem like a sign of 2012…yeah its a little scarry

  • http://Web Rick

    Anyone that thinks that this was caused by stress, please contact me, I have some ocean front property in Arkansas to sale you. You also probably believe that the 1000’s of fish that were found dead near by died from a decease. They all died at the same time and one time only. Charlie the tuna most have vaccinated the rest of the fish. WAKEUP

  • http://Web chelsaayx11

    A lot of people are saying this could possibly be a simple warning..exactly a year away from new years eve of 2012. They say that will be the end. What do you think?

    • http://Web C.J.

      the 2012 myth says that the worst is suposably going to happen in december 2012….is the entire year goin to be full of this stuff? one horrible occurance at a time? no matter wat your faith or beliefs i think everyone should open up to the 2012 idea…..no on knows for sure

  • http://Web John

    Could it be possible that the birds were ‘run over’ in the sky by someting moving very fast? Could the noise be a sonic boom from a fast moving aircraft or ‘other’ type of vehicle? Just saying, birds just don’t fall out of the sky with blunt force trama…

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      the birds should have been sleeping at the time,.. this is the thing (but perhaps woken up by fireworks).. still, though, seems unlikely it was a plane… shouldn’t have been so high in the air

  • http://Web matt casebolt

    Maybe a UFO that you can’t see.we know their here

  • http://Web Kylie Hudson

    When I read this I was reminded of the movie “The Core”. Some may say the movie is fiction but this is a very strange incident that should be looked into. I am sure that they are investigating all options even if they do not tell us. IN GOD WE TRUST!

    • http://Web C.J.

      it reminds me of the movie “the fourth kind” maybe we are an alin creation that they plan to erradicate on 2012……whos to say wats right?

  • http://Web Sandra

    The question I have is this…
    What time did the birds start falling?
    If it was possible fireworks, what time did the fireworks go off?
    What connection could it have with the 100,000 drum fish that died less than 2 hours away (much less as the bird flies)?

    • http://www.zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      looks like there could be a connection to the fish — see the comment above on the gas pipeline. but i hadn’t read anything about that before reading the comment.

  • http://planetsave.com Kody

    Must have been a sonic boom, that might explain loud noises and the deaths.

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