Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dead Birds...Lots of Dead Birds. Tons and Tons of Dead Fish. Seals Washing Ashore In Alaska Being Tested For Fukushima Radiation. Happy 2012

Dead blackbirds fall again in Arkansas town
Posted: Dec 31, 2011 9:39 PM MST Updated: Dec 31, 2011 11:33 PM MST

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Thousands of dead blackbirds rained down on a town in central Arkansas last New Year's Eve after revelers set off fireworks that spooked them from their roost, and officials were reporting a similar occurrence Saturday as 2012 approached.

Police in Beebe said dozens of blackbirds had fallen dead, prompting officers to ban residents from shooting fireworks Saturday night. It wasn't immediately clear if fireworks were again to blame, but authorities weren't taking a chance.

Officer John Weeks said the first reports of "birds on the streets" came around 7 p.m. as residents celebrated the year's end with fireworks in their neighborhoods.

"We started shutting down fireworks," he said. "We're working on cleaning up the birds now."

He said police were working with animal control workers and others to remove the birds and determine a death count.

"We're not sure if they're going to continue to fall throughout the night. I can't tell you," Weeks said.

Scientists say the loud cracks and booms from celebratory fireworks likely sent the birds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths last New Year's Eve. The birds landed on roofs, sidewalks, streets and fields. One struck a woman walking her dog. Another hit a police cruiser.

The blackbird die-off, coupled with tens of thousands of dead drum fish that washed up on the shores of the Arkansas River, flung the state into the national headlines and drew conspiracy theorists and filmmakers to the town about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock that shares Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's last name.

Some people speculated that the birds had been poisoned; others said their deaths marked the beginning of the apocalypse.

"It's just got to be a pain in my career," Beebe Police Chief Wayne Ballew said.

Prior to this New Year's Eve, Ballew said he wouldn't be surprised if people sit out on their front porches in case the winged creatures fall from the sky again.

"I guess we could have an annual blackbird watch," he said with a laugh. "People can just bring their umbrellas, open them up and walk through the neighborhood and hope they don't get hit."

Charles Moore didn't plan to have an umbrella at the ready, but said he would have his camera out on New Year's Eve. Last year, he drifted off to sleep before the ball - and birds - dropped.

"When we got up on New Year's Day and walked out to get the paper, we saw all the carnage out there," he said. "So we thought we would be on the watch for it this time."


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Ark. Town Again Hit by Dead Blackbirds

Cops ban fireworks after repeat of last New Year's Eve carnage begins

(AP) - Thousands of dead blackbirds rained down on a town in central Arkansas last New Year's Eve after revelers set off fireworks that spooked them from their roost, and officials were reporting a similar occurrence yesterday as 2012 approached. Police in Beebe said dozens of blackbirds had fallen dead, prompting... More »

20 tons of dead fish wash up on Norway beaches- cause of massive fishkill unknown

January 2, 2012NORWAY – The inhabitants of Troms could hardly believe their eyes on the morning of New Year’s Eve, a very large amount, an estimated 10 to 20 tons of dead herring washed up on the beach, writes Northern Lights. Tromsø city is the ninth largest urban area in Norway by population. The city is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream which originates at the tip of Florida. Various theories abound for the incident but no one knows for sure what’s happened in the popular hiking area in Nordreisa municipality. However, various theories have been tossed around, explains Jan-Petter Jorgensen (44), who stumbled upon the mass death in sight on the beach with his dog Molly. People say that something similar happened in the 80′s, and there is speculation among others on the river which flows into the ocean behind a promontory on the site, may have had something to do with it. Maybe the fish have been caught in a deprived oxygen environment, and then died of fresh water? Jorgensen estimates each individual fish to be of 100-150 grams, and that the total might be about up to 20 tons. Now he’s worried about what might happen if no one comes and removing carcasses. -Dagbladet -translated
contribution Mr. B, Roger Aak

Slew of dead birds found along roadway in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky

December 27, 2011KENTUCKY – There’s a bizarre scene in Montgomery County where dozens of birds are dead. More than 30 birds are lying dead on Indian Mound Drive at the intersection of Grassy Lick Road in Mt. Sterling. All the birds appear to be the same species, and seem to have died and landed at this spot all at once. No word yet about what caused their death. The strange sight was first spotted on Christmas morning by people who live nearby. “Yesterday morning around 9:30 am when I pulled out on to the bypass, and there was a whole slew of birds,” explains local resident Karen Williams. “I didn’t know where they came from. I didn’t know. I thought if someone shot them there was an awful lot of shooting going on but I don’t know,’ said Williams. –LEX 18

Birds accused of losing bearings in New Mexico and flying into trucks- 50 found dead

December 15, 2011 BLOOMFIELD, N.M. — A strange sight in Bloomfield where 40 to 50 dead birds were reportedly found along U.S. 64 last week. Some of the black and speckled birds were lying on their backs with their small feet sticking up in the air, and at least one was missing its head. The Daily-Times  reports about 30 dead birds were north of the highway and about 20 additional piles of flattened feathers were on the highway. Wildlife biologist John Kendall with the Bureau of Land Management investigated the cluster. He thinks they likely roosted in shrubs north of the highway Wednesday night and died when they flew into the side of a large truck driving the highway late Wednesday or early Thursday. It’s also unlikely the birds died from environmental causes because they were so close together when they died. –The Republic 

John Kendall, a wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Land Management, investigated the cluster and identified the species of bird. The starlings likely roosted in shrubs north of the highway Wednesday night and died when they flew into the side of a large vehicle driving the highway late Wednesday or early Thursday morning, he said. “It certainly is unusual,” Kendall said. “Usually birds are smarter than that.” –ABQ Journal 

Thousands of birds crash into Walmart parking lot but wildlife expert’s explanation for the event makes even less sense

December 14, 2011UTAH – Thousands of migratory birds died on impact after apparently mistaking a Wal-Mart parking lot and other areas of southern Utah for bodies of water and plummeting to the ground in what one wildlife expert called the worst downing she’s ever seen. Crews went to work cleaning up the dead birds and rescuing the survivors after the creatures crash-landed in the St. George area Monday night. By Tuesday evening, volunteers had rescued more than 2,000 birds, releasing them into nearby bodies of water. “They’re just everywhere,” said Teresa Griffin, wildlife program manager for the Utah Department of Wildlife Resource’s southern region. “It’s been nonstop. All our employees are driving around picking them up, and we’ve got so many people coming to our office and dropping them off.” Officials say stormy conditions probably confused the flock of grebes, a duck-like aquatic bird likely making its way to Mexico for the winter. The birds tried to land in a Cedar City Wal-Mart parking lot and elsewhere. “The storm clouds over the top of the city lights made it look like a nice, flat body of water. All the conditions were right,” Griffin told The Spectrum newspaper in St. George. “So the birds landed to rest, but ended up slamming into the pavement. No human injuries or property damage have been reported. Griffin noted most downings are localized “but this was very widespread. I’ve been here 15 years and this was the worst downing I’ve seen,” she told the newspaper. Officials said they were continuing the rescue effort that started Tuesday afternoon and included an enthusiastic group of volunteers. The surviving grebes were released into bodies of water in southern Utah’s Washington County, including a pond near Hurricane. –Bellingham Herald

Diseased seals washing ashore in Alaska being tested for possible Fukushima radiation exposure

December 29, 2011ALASKA - Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor. Scores or multiples of twenty, ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July. Their symptoms include: bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes, and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats. John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said, “We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity. There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage.” Test results would not be available for several weeks. –ENE News
This time last year...

Could this have something to do with the animal deaths?

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