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AnimalsEarthquakes

More Possible Explanations for Mass Bird Deaths, Birds Falling from Sky

Thankfully, our recent story on 3,000-5,000 blackbirds falling from the sky and dying in Arkansas on New Year’s Eve has gotten quite a few comments and brought up some additional potential explanations. In addition to these, I’ve gone searching for more potential answers and have found a few worth sharing.

But before getting into these, an important thing to note is that about 500 birds suddenly died in Louisiana yesterday as well. Supposedly, they flew into a power line… but why they would have done so is still a mystery. And 500 birds flying into a power line seems a little unlikely to me, but I have read that there are a ton of birds in this area and it is, perhaps, really the cause of death.

Possible Explanations for Mass Bird Deaths

Starting from what I think are the most plausible explanations (but remember, I’m really no expert on this), here we go:

  1. Geologic shifts and a resulting electrostatic discharge:
      “Birds are very sensitive to electrostatic charges. A simple thunder cloud will irritate a bird severely. This is why birds fly low to the ground just before a storm, to avoid the very uncomfortable charges in the air
      In Arkansas there is one of the Worlds Largest Quartz deposits underground. Quartz is piezoelectric which means a charge developes over the surface of the quartz when pressure is applied to the crystal. The charge is millions of volts but it happens so fast its nearly harmless to people on a small scale. This is how some lighters work. A hammer hits a quartz device releasing a spark.
      Anyways, the recent earthquake has placed new pressures on the quartz deposits in Arkansas. This results in a massive discharge of billions of volts of electricity. Think how a small piece of quartz the size of a pea can light a lighter. Now think about millions of Tons of quartz discharging under the extreme pressures the Earth can push.
      At some point, the charges below created a brief surface charge, positive charge, during a discharge event. The electrostatic charge is immense and knocks the birds out cold in flight. The birds are still alive though, just knocked unconscious. The birds that were flying high were the ones killed upon impact. Blunt force trauma. The birds that were in the trees survived. Some birds like to fly high, others fly low. This explains why it was species specific as the birds that flew high were the ones to die.” (Note: the writer also predicts this is the sign of a massive New Madrid Fault earthquake coming soon.)
  2. Other than explaining the mass bird deaths, fish are very sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field and this could perhaps explain the massive fish die-off not too far away from Beebe, Arkansas.

  3. Leaking gas / result of gas exploration. The following are two comments from my first article on this topic that caught my attention. These (or some portion of these) seem very plausible:
      “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
      “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
  4. Naughty troublemakers or bird-haters shooting fireworks into bird roosts. Regarding the mass bird death in Louisiana, Dan Cristol, a biology professor and co-founder of the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies at the College of William & Mary, notes: “They don’t hit a power line for no reason.” He is skeptical of the fireworks theory, though, unless “somebody blew something into the roost, literally blowing the birds into the sky.” Well, knowing humans, that seems entirely likely, especially since I read in one of the many articles I recently browsed that many in this region are not fans of the birds since there are so many of them out there currently.
  5. Another interesting possibility from the link above is that one doomed bird (perhaps hit by some fireworks) plunged to the ground and others followed it. Maybe not the most likely idea, but given that these birds apparently have quite bad eyesight, especially at night, it’s a possibility. And, similarly, such an occurrence could happen in different situations or slightly different ways, like in the Louisiana case in which the hundreds of birds might have just flown into a power line.
  6. Government Testing. With a good review of chemical and biological warfare testing by the U.S. government in a variety of circumstances, Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones hypothesize that these bird and fish deaths could be the result of some sort of government testing. I don’t think this is likely given the timing (Arkansas bird death on New Year’s Eve and Louisiana bird death a few days later), but couldn’t rule it out.
  7. Bird Flu or Other Disease. After months of examination, it was found that several thousand birds (grackles) suddenly died in northern Louisiana due to “an E. coli infection of the air sacs in their skulls.” Recent discovery of numerous dead migratory birds in Japan is bringing up concern of H5NI avian influenza. Could the deaths in Louisiana and Arkansas be related to some infection or flu? (This seems unlikely given the speed at which so many birds died… but it is another possibility.)

More ideas?

Or more evidence to support one of the ideas above?

Please share.

Related Stories:
1. Over 3,000 Birds Mysteriously Die, Fall from Sky in Arkansas
2. Birds Fall from the Sky in More Places
3. Mass Bird & Fish Deaths Caused by Hydraulic Fracking & Earthquakes?
4. Sudden Fish Kills, Bird Die-offs, and Other “Fortean” Events

Photo Credit: Camera Slayer




49 comments
  1. madeleine

    end of the world? poison? earthquakes? military testing? etc. anyone of these and so much more could be correct, time will eventually tell. heres one to throw around that only a certain few would even dare to elaborate on; FRIGHT! seems these deaths are species specific, and from the little info. i have read there are no reports of insects, ground dwelling animals, other ocean dwelling creatures etc. included in these deaths. to elaborate on my fright theory, certain living creatures in this world have the ability to SEE what others cannot. millions of humans would bet there own lives to prove that they have SEEN objects from ghosts, angels, demons, even christ himself to name but a few. to ask any pet owners out there have they ever been spooked by the reaction there cat/dog has once given to something unexplainable of course there would be nodding of heads! in a nutshell, why cant other species SEE something we cant? seems to me the same types of animal pops up when deaths are reported. what i write now is only a question directed at anyone out there whom may relate to this, and hopefully elaborate further! in the mean time, imagine if this theory was somehow correct, as the real question would then be; WHAT WAS IT THAT SCARED THEM TO DEATH!!

  2. Blandon

    What explains fish, bird and weather is only a crustal shift. A crustal shift would also perceptually mimic a magnetic shift (Tampa Airport was the only leak there must be many others). It logically answers all 4 mysteries. We need to answer all and not accept an explanation of one and not the other. Although horrifying, we need to use common sense.

  3. Sharonn

    Since this is a worldwide phenomenon, Govt testing is not the practical explanation.
    Research into this worldwide catastrophe shows credible evidence of a “magnetic pole shift”. This shift caused a runway closure in Tampa FL due to navagation systems being affected. Further researched and found NASA data and National Geographic stating 40 mile per year movement of North Pole toward Russia.
    If birds/fish operate with some internal navigation this would explain.
    Now, as to reason for this, and could we have a catastrophic “pole shift, who knows.
    We are a world hell bent on energy consumption; “fracking” for gas; drilling through our Earth’s crust so what can we expect? So, this just expounds on your theory 1.
    No way are we fixing or stopping this!

  4. Brenda

    I think Geological sounds the most likely but there have more birds falling in Quebec now to and i read in the comments somewhere Sweden i think Whatever the cause it is scary and will we ever get truthful answers who knows but i doubt it we are always kept in the dark

    my complaint about local news even is we hear all this news and we never hear updates

  5. Liz

    Has anyone connected the bird and fish deaths to what’s happening with the rapid movement of magnetic north away from Canada towards Siberia AND what is happening with the sun and the huge solar explosion in August as reported by NASA. Tampa airport’s runways are affected by the magnetic pole shift. Both birds and fish depend on magnetic energy for directional guidance. And don’t forget that these bird and fish deaths are happening on a global scale not just in USA. Take a look at these links and decide for yourself.
    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/05/060831/shift-of-earths-magnetic-north-pole-impacts-tampa-/
    and this one about the sun explosionhttp://www.suite101.com/content/vast-solar-eruption-shocks-nasa-and-raises-doubts-on-sun-theory-a327330

  6. avianexpert

    To tie together some of the implausable explainations above:

    1) Icterdids – Red-winged blackbirds have exceptional eyesight (much better than human eyesight during daylight – likely even to see ultraviolet spectra) They have poorer vision at night than humans but still can orient and know up from down, the sky from the ground- they even migrate long distances at night and of course can orientate well enough to depart an evening roost at night -if they couldn’t Red-winged blackbirds would have all died out by now due to their inability to cope with normal nighttime distrubances. Use some common sense people.

    2. Necropsy reports all are very clear that all sampled birds had uniform blunt internal trauma/injuries. How likely is it that every small bird in a flock of several hundred much less thousands hit one of several slender power lines? And even if this impossible happened the trauma would be localized on the carcass not uniformly distributed. No disease was found in the analyses so obviously the birds were not ill or compromised from an illness.

    3. Stop dreaming of exotic reasons and look at the obvious…night time roosts with thousands of birds in a few trees and explosives don’t mix well..simple as that.

  7. avianexpert

    After researching wild birds for about 10 years and understanding the attitudes of professional and private individuals I believe it was no coincidence that the bird killing incident occurred on a day when explosives were acceptable to use. The large bird flock kill was due to deliberate human intent to kill (control) the birds.

    1) It is no suprise that the birds affected are considered pest birds and are regularly lethally “controlled” by many different agencies.
    2) Wintertime is when these bird species communally evening roost making it very simple to target a whole population. And how convenient to conduct such activities on an evening when explosives are accepted and expected! Making such lethal killing undetectable and untraceable.

    3) Fireworks ARE very powerful. These birds weigh about the weight of a small candy bar, 50-100 grams, have hollow bones and an intricate system of air sacks through out their bodies which are extremely vulnerable to explosive shock waves. A few strategically placed M-80 or M- 100 (nearly 1/4 stick of dynamite each) in or shot into a bird roost could easily stun or kill thousands of delicate birds.

    4) Many people have motives for eliminating what people consider messy, noisy agricultural pests, but they are superlative insect eating machines during the breeding season and are a part of our North American heritage. Red-winged blackbirds are a beautiful and native component of our ecosystems. Such devious control methods are an insult and a tragedy.

  8. n00w

    Ok, so I’ve got more.

    The Brazilian case:
    http://www.disclose.tv/frameset.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftranslate.google.com%2Ftranslate%3Fjs%3Dn%26amp%3Bprev%3D_t%26amp%3Bhl%3Den%26amp%3Bie%3DUTF-8%26amp%3Blayout%3D2%26amp%3Beotf%3D1%26amp%3Bsl%3Dauto%26amp%3Btl%3Den%26amp%3Bu%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.parana-online.com.br%252Feditoria%252Fcidades%252Fnews%252F502434%252F%253Fnoticia%253DMORTANDADE%252BMISTERIOSA%252BDE%252

    Hundreds of dead fish found on a UK shore on December 31, 2010:
    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/8765436.Hundreds_of_dead_fish_found_at_Goytre_Wharf/

    More than 150 tonnes of farmed fish found dead over a one-week period in Vietnam (last week of December):
    http://business.asiaone.com/Business/News/Story/A1Story20101231-255737.html
    At least there’s a plausible explanation here. Maybe just a coincidence.

    Abnormal figures of dead fish found in a haitian lake on December 26 – ongoing investigation, no cause found yet:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hPH3HoZT9D02y2edSG0RwDxSchhA?docId=CNG.742e6f8c140c9fad9f90528e14966d4e.151

    People in forums also say that thousands of birds were found dead in Chile, but it looks like it occurred in May 2010:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H99TLCaVhZ0&feature=related
    Source for the date:
    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elmostrador.cl%2Fvida-en-linea%2F2010%2F05%2F14%2Fmas-de-1500-aves-muertas-al-sur-de-cobquecura%2F&sl=es&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8

    800 penguins were found dead in southeastern Chile on March 2009, thus such things may happen at any time for a lot of unexpected or even unexplained reasons:
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.oceansentry.org/lang-es/noticias/aves-marinas/1807-penguins-found-dead-chile.html&ei=ISYlTe2LGtOv8QOEg8jkAg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDgQ7gEwBA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DLas%2Baves%2Bmuertas%2Bchili%2B-arkansas%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26prmd%3Divns

    Puzzling. If it happens everytime everywhere there’s no specific reason to fear a catastrophic event in local Arkansas, except maybe for the measurable increase in earthquakes since September: more than 500 ranging from 1 to 4 on Richter’s scale.

    At least, the Earth’s Magnetic Fields theory could provide an explanation for some of these strange phenomenas occurring worldwide.

  9. yankeegirl

    I vote for the natural gas theory with the physical trauma being due to the birds hitting the ground. I think this is the most plausible. Although, as far as intrigue, the secret government testing theory is the most interesting.

    On a side note, I read that a resident was picking up the carcasses..BAD idea no matter what the cause… leave that task to the pro’s at Fish and Wildlife.

  10. Kristen

    Added theory (Excellent reporting, Planetsave! & including the comments of your well-read readers is outstanding!)…

    Patterns in one week Jan 1 – 6, 2011:
    Dead Birds: Kentucky 100 / Louisianna 500 / Arkansas 5,000 / Arizona Bats nearly 70? / Japan 30? (bird flu?)
    Dead Fish: Arkansas 100,000 / Maryland 10,000 / South Wales 100s (cold weather?) / Brazil Millions / Italy 100,000s / New Zealand 100s

    Here’s the link for these numbers – I’ve checked them, but who really knows whats going on here. It’s just real good we pay attention, and the birds, animals, insects, etc. will show us what’s up with Planet Earth.

    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1308605/pg1

    Theory – Yea, I really resonate (no pun intended) with the shifting plates and the Earth emitting frequencies due to openings. (The piezoelectric coming off the crystals is information, Zac.) I too think it is magnetics – and it could be waves of it – it could be government testing; specifically: HAARP. Just a thought. Please continue to keep me posted.

    1. Karen (Kristens neice)

      I have been watching the news all day and it has only been mentioned 2x. If that. I don’t agree with any fireworks or hail or lightening theory at all. We all have to really be awake here to see what is going on. Perhaps right in our own backyard. My German Shepherd gave me a good idea about animals telling us what is going on. Watch our own animals, or even the neighbors cows or livestock.Watch our childrens energy levels. Patterns do leak closer inwards to us. I would’nt be surprised if the governmenr came out with a “so called scientific reason why this is happening” prepare and stay awake for the cover up as well!!

  11. Deb T

    I agree with statement number 2: that the birds showed blunt force trauma simply by hitting the ground or rooftop at terminal velocity. I’m thinking that they were rendered unconscious at a certain altitude by some sort of shock wave or noxious gas before they took the plunge. I am always watching for earth movement on or near the New Madrid fault. Days before the 1811 quake, there were many strange animal behaviors.

  12. Taco

    I think I agree with Scott here on this one… either this is purely coinsedince, or the warning signs of the inevitable impending doom for all who walk the face of the Earth is upon us, and has been for a few centuries now. If this is indeed a warning, however, it need not be ignored…

  13. Polly

    Well, just saw a report that one state lab found–in preliminary testing–trauma to especially the breast tissue, with blood clots and internal hemorrhaging in the “body cavity”, of the tested birds, and “no signs of infection or disease.” This could be compatible with a lightning strike (and the second batch of birds, though???) or the quartz/discharge hypothesis here. Though one would wonder, for the latter, why only these birds and in these particular tiny areas. Another compatible hypothesis might be that some would-be-joker dumped them from a high-altitude plane (high enough to cause chest bleeding)–but was it lung bleeding, and wouldn’t the plane have to be an airliner or military plane or the like to reach high enough altitude? I really like it that you are seriously considering hypotheses and opening this up to a–highly rational–discussion.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      Thank You Much, Polly. i think the quartz/discharge hypothesis considers blackbirds to be more sensitive… but not sure of that. i don’t know much about birds in this region, but that they were all blackbirds seems very strange.

  14. John

    Disease or bacterial infection would leave obvious systemic damage and take time, scattering birds over miles rather than in one location.

    Fireworks would have to be massive to cause an entire flock to die.

    Earthquakes can release pockets of hydrogen sulfide gas, birds flying through a pocket would die very quickly and hit the ground. Same thing can kill fish. Arkansas has recently had rare quakes, exposing old faults and probably old pockets of gas that would not exist in more frequently active areas.

  15. Invader Kendall

    After a quick map search for military installations in the vicinity of the first two incidents (birds in Beebe, fish in Arkansas River) I can’t help but instantly make the correlations between them. Even in relatively populated areas military does ordinance and explosives testing, sometimes underground. Keeping in mind that water transfers concussive waves much better than air, you would expect more casualties in fish than birds. Which was the case. You might also expect that the fish would be found downstream from the initial event. Which was the case. Even if it’s not blast waves, I don’t think the proliferation of military bases in the area is coincidence.

  16. J

    Birds aren’t nearly as sensitive to fireworks nor atmospheric events at they would have you believe. Thunder or fireworks etc? If this killed them then why don’t we have a seasonal massive bird/fish dieout event every July 4th?

    It’s well documented that our government regularly sprays materials into our atmosphere without notifying us nor informing us as to what these chemicals are. Alex Jones is right.

  17. Scott

    With all the earthquakes over the last 100yrs is there not any documentation of massive kill offs of birds,fish etc. There has to be a logical explanation for this. I’m sorry but I can’t honestly believe that that many birds dropped dead from a virus,bacteria or
    from an infection. If the red winged bb had some type of virus or
    bacterial then I would think other birds in the area would have contacted it as well.

  18. Gordy

    I think this could be due to a magentic pole disruption. Birds use the magnetic poles when migrating. Possibly a sign of a pole magnetic pole shift predicted coming in 2012?

  19. n00w

    I’ve come personally to a similar hypothesis as your option 1. Around 500 earthquakes have occurred in Arkansas since September. Although such phenomena normally occurs in the New Madrid fault region, this very large number is largely above normal figures. In addition I would like to highlight the fact that the epicenter seems a bit distant from the fault in itself. You should know that Diamonds State Park for instance is an ancient volcano. You should google the words Arkansas Caldera and very likely you will find more clues to what could happen soon. Maybe…

  20. Marshall

    Arkansas and Brazil have the best quality quartz crystals in the world. Quartz is piezoelectric which means a charge developes over the surface of the quartz when pressure is applied to the crystal. The charge is millions of volts but it happens so fast its nearly harmless to people on a small scale. Think how a small piece of quartz the size of a pea can light a lighter. Now think about millions of Tons of quartz discharging under the extreme pressures the Earth can push. And we recently had a Solar Eclipse, that would increase stress on the earth do to the allignment of magnetic fields.

  21. Laura

    I had a premonition of the massive bridge collapse that occurred a few yrs. back, and I recently had a feeling a very large earthquake may be coming-that was right before these massive bird and fish die-offs/like a week ago-I don’t call myself a psychic, I think we all are a little-who knows we’ll see..

    1. Terri

      I too was concerned about an earthquake for some reason so I looked up maps showing major fault lines in the US. Oddly enough many of the bird deaths have been in an area closest to the center of a major fault line = KY, TN, & AZ. Doesn’t explain the birds outside of Baton Rouge but heck, they have issues with dead birds daily due to the spill and corexit.

      Check out the map:

      http://thedailyvinyl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/united-states-fault-line-danger-zones-in-the-us.jpg

  22. Zurie

    Actually I believe disease from viruses or bacteria could cause mass death at once and I will tell you why. The course of an infection, like sepsis is distinct and easily mapped out, many infections have similar timing, case in point Spanish flu and tuberculosis. Considering the geological location and the birds and fish dying in a short amount of time en mass, I would say it is either toxin or disease. Birds notoriously carry crazy strains of the flu and it is that time of year when the second wave hits. It could also be an unfortunate combination of changing electromagnetics, decreased viability from illness, and/or deadly gasses in the air/water. If it spreads then I would question disease (much like what is happening to honey bees), if it does not, then I would question what they are releasing while raping the Earth.

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