Posted by: Ed Darrell | January 8, 2011

About those fish kills, and birds falling from the skies . . .

Was it seventh block yesterday, and fourth block today?  Somebody asked what was going on with all those birds falling from the skies, and fish piling up on the shores of the ocean in the Carolinas and that river in Arkansas?

Mass bird kills are not uncommon when weather changes.  In the radio tower business (yeah, part of when I was with Primeco PCS and then, Verizon Wireless), we were all aware of the stories of the bird kills around towers when the clouds were low.  Some reports had hundreds of birds circling a tower with lights, trying to stay below the clouds, and running into the guy wires.  A bird hitting a chunk of metal cable like that at about 30 miles per hour ends in a dead bird more often than not.

But two of these incidents in less than a week?  Is it some kind of omen?

No, it’s about the usual pace for such incidents in the U.S.

Cold weather is the usual culprit in mass die-offs.  Greg Laden explains the phenomena at his blog, and you should go read it there, “Why are all the birds dying?”:

But about a hundred of these events occur per year, so really, having two bird die-offs in one week in the US would be average. There is no evidence that there is an increase in bird die-offs.

The ‘fact’ that there may be a cover up is, of course, going to keep this story going for a while as people start to connect the dots and add together numbers like one and one to get three. Every bird die-off will have a chemical plant, military base, fuel depot, or something within five hundred or a thousand miles, and where there are no such facilities there are always the trusty UFOs which, because they can fly, can be anywhere. I look forward to watching that circus.

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