According to the AP, the dead birds found along Highway 101 in California "were intact and had not been shot." Thousands of gizzard shad, a member of the herring family, were found dead in Chicago's harbors, many floating in ice, The Sun-Time reports. Even more abnormal, according to wildlife experts, was the sight of Canada geese and mallards munching on the dead fish, something not ordinarily a part of their diet.
Various wildlife officials attest that the events are unrelated, and are not uncommon. Multiple explanations have been suggested as likely causes for various incidents. Experts believe the dead birds in Italy suffered from indigestion after overeating, while fireworks have been blamed for bird deaths in Arkansas, Louisiana and Sweden. Unusually cold weather has been speculated as the culprit in many of the fish and crab deaths, with some suggesting the same for the bird incidents.
As for the latest reports of birds falling from the sky in California and dead fish washing ashore in Chicago, officials are currently uncertain as to what could be responsible.