It’s Raining Dead Birds, and…Now What?

There’s been a lot of hue and cry over all those dead birds that rained from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas, a few days ago. Then there were more dead birds in Louisiana. And in Sweden. And in Kentucky. And Texas. And a bunch of dead fish turned up in Chesepeake Bay.

One of the dead red wing blackbirds that rained down in Beebe, Arkansas on New Year's Day

Turns out this probably isn’t a sign the world is ending. Sorry doomsday fans. According to Randall Cerveny of Arizona State University, mysterious bird deaths have been happening for ages. He sites incidents like last week’s dating back to 1896.

And the Washington Post says there have been no fewer than 16 incidents of mass bird kills in the past 20 years.

Still, this many bird kills at once sure is strange. Guesses as to why these birds died range from fireworks, to thunderstorms to just dumb bad luck. None of the explanations is satisfying.

Of course, every wild conspiracy theory possible has surfaced on why the birds are dying. These range from somewhat plausible (A toxic industrial leak?) to less plausible (U.S. weapons testing. But in Arkansas, Chesapeake Bay and Sweden?) to biblical end times (I guess God hates birds) to space aliens. (I guess Martians hate birds, too)

Weird precipitation has always fascinated people. It has been known to rain frogs near severe thunderstorms. It rained bits of paper in Boston in 1953 after a super bad tornado struck nearby Worcester Mass.

Last summer, the biggest hailstone in recorded history, the size of a volleyball, crashed down on Vivian, South Dakota.  The guy who found the big hailstone originally wanted to make a daiquiri out of it, but instead stored it in his freezer and showed it to meteorologists, who certified it was a record.

The Weather Girls had a novelty hit with “It’s Raining Men” back in the early 1980s.

The Weather Girls evidently thought it would be sexy if hot men fell from the sky. But if a guy fell from some clouds that are say, 10,000 feet overhead, and the guys went SPLAT on the ground, I can’t imagine they would look particularly sexy. But what do I know?

Still, here in Vermont, I really hope precipitation stays in the form of snow or rain. I really can’t handle anything else right now. Unless we have a torrential downpour of money. That, I wouldn’t mind shoveling.

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One Response to “It’s Raining Dead Birds, and…Now What?”

  1. A Theory For the Birds « Matt-of-all-trades Blog Says:

    […] Last week,  I wrote about those reports of dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas and elsewhere. […]

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