In view of the recent death threat I received at Facebook for posting pictures of my recent hunt, I bring you this news.
Being personally responsible for the demise of hundreds of these kinda birds and starlings (both of which are incredible pests to farming so if you wanna complain about extermination efforts, please stop eating because you have no logical right to complain about how farmers protect the crops which feed you), I can only say.
The last time I laid down on flock of starlings with a 12 gauge was after an animal rights activist threatened me. I told him for every threat I was gonna hammer a flock of the birds. One shot 20+ birds dropped. That offer still stands, BTW. A necropsy of those birds would clearly show the cause of death - Me. Dunno how much I saved in the way of crops which would have otherwise been ruined by these birds.
But for the birds that fell out in Beebe, ornithologists are still wondering why. According to one report I heard, some loud booms were heard in the area the night the birds died. Necropsies on the first birds showed internal damage.
A sufficient sonic-type boom could kill ‘em. Since they roost in tight flocks in trees, one boom could hit a bunch of ‘em.
Being stunned and scared at night, they took to the air where the multi-whammy of the shock, the internal damage, the fright and being airborne at night was just too much for their systems.
None of which explains where the boom came from. But then I’ve heard and felt booms a few times in my life with no explanation for how or where they came from.
As you might expect, some people are using this to point to the end of times about to happen. The Mayan calendar, Planet X, the Next Coming, the Last Days, the current president’s policies taking full effect, etc are just some of the excuses being given for the bird kill.
Read further. Such die-offs are more common than most people realize, even when not generated by a guy with a 12 gauge. Animals have been dying this way for probably eons.
Red tides account for huge marine kills. No one yet knows why pods of cetaceans beach themselves and die, although I suspect doomsday cult and charismatic leaders in the pod.
Look. These critters are not indestructible. In fact, they are pretty fragile. Some fish, like herrings, if you look at ‘em hard they die. Fish like snappers, inhabiting the waters they do in large schools, are apt to be wiped out by a geological burp of some killer chemical from the earth that enters the water, kills the school but quickly dissipates before others are killed.
Redwing blackbirds are not hardy birds. They are just extreme fecund and nest carefully, which is why there are so many of ‘em. I know from personal experience a little light damage to the bird and it can fly some distance before succumbing.
It happens. We may never find out why. Get used to the idea. If it makes you feel better to blame some supra, super or paranormal event to explain it, g’head.