Around 11 that night, thousands of red-winged blackbirds began falling out of the sky over this small city about 35 miles northeast of Little Rock. They landed on roofs, roads, front lawns and backyards, turning the ground nearly black and terrifying anyone who happened to be outside.
“One of them almost hit my best friend in the head,” said Christy Stephens, who was standing outside among the smoking crowd at a party. “We went inside after that.”
The cause is still being determined, but preliminary lab results from the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission revealed “acute physical trauma” in samples of the dead birds. There were no indications of disease, though tests were still being done for the presence of toxic chemicals.
Other birds have been dying in other locations, although nothing quite as dramatic as what happened in Beebe. TV reports that regular black birds and starlings have fallen from the sky. Totally bizarre. Where is Alfred Hitchcock?
Obviously if birds are falling from the sky in large numbers, something isn’t right. It will be important for scientists to discover why the birds died. It will be even more important to fix whatever it was that caused the bird deaths. Something is horribly wrong.
Starlings dying might not be a bad thing. Red wing blackbirds –different. That shouldn’t be happening. Am I prejudice against starlings? Absolutely. They are loud, smelly, and they will foul any area where they roost. Long time residents of this area will remember the efforts to rid the Signal Hill area of millions of roosting starlings. When those ‘buzzards’ went to bed the sky darkened as they all flew in. Trees where they roosted actually died.
The hypothesis now is that loud fireworks literally frightened the birds to death in Beebe, Arkansas. That really is sad.