Dead Birds in Arkansas Fireworks May be Cause

Wildlife officials are trying to determine what caused more than 1,000 blackbirds to die and fall from the sky over an Arkansas town.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said it began receiving reports on the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. Friday night. The birds fell over a 1-mile area in Beebe, northeast of Little Rock in central Arkansas. An aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside the area.

The commission said that New Year’s Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area could have startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.

Robby King, a wildlife officer for the agency, collected about 65 dead birds, which will be sent for testing at the state Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Wisconsin.

Rowe said similar events had occurred elsewhere and that test results “usually were inconclusive.” She said she doubted the birds were poisoned.

CNN report on the incidents :

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