A Bad Day to Be a Bird in Arkansas

As many of us were celebrating the New Year, a flock of blackbirds in Arkansas was not so lucky. Thousands of birds fell from the sky all over Beebe, Arkansas, a town near the capital Little Rock.

The exact cause of death of the birds is unknown. Some speculate that weather or shock from fireworks may have caused the multiple deaths. Lightning electrocutes the air and water mixture often found in a thunderstorm, which can cause rapid death of birds. A hailstorm occurred recently in Beebe, making this a popular lead.

Additionally, the loudness of the fireworks could have scared the birds to death so to speak, essentially causing heart attacks. Some criticize the theory, as fireworks went off all over the world and this is a unique incident in one specific town.

While poison is not a speculated cause, it cannot be ruled out until autopsies are performed on some of the birds, scheduled to happen on Monday.

To make things even more odd, in a separate area, over 100,000 Drum fish were found dead, washed up along a 20 mile stretch of the Arkansas River. Keith Stephens, an Arkansas game official, says that annual fish death is a normal process. What is not normal, however, is the amount of fish that died.

Some speculate pollution in the river could have harmed the fish, but Stephens disagrees. He says "The fish kill only affected one species of fish. If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish." Instead, Stephens suspects a disease was the agent of death.

The two incidents are not believed to be related, although oddly coincidental to occur so close to each other. For more information, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission website. 

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