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article image80 blackbirds fall from the sky in New Jersey

By Melissa Horrocks     Aug 15, 2012 in Environment
Millville - Dead birds are falling from the skies. In the past, people have blamed such occurrences on the government, the apocalypse or UFOs. However, this time, no conspiracy theory exists and officials in New Jersey are looking at something, much closer to home.
Daily Mail reports, locals in Millville, New Jersey, were astounded when around 80 birds were found, dead on the ground. At least 80 birds, the majority of which were reg-winged blackbirds, were found on the ground having fallen from the sky. In one street, a resident discovered 80 birds, that had fallen from the sky and trees. A neighbor even said that she had witnessed the birds falling from the sky.
The roadways were a bloody mess. Birds would fall and try to fly again, but they could not. It was like something from a scene in a horror movie.
Animal control, public health officials and other emergency crews arrived at the scene yesterday, trying to solve the mystery of what had killed the birds. However, Cumberland County Public Information Officer, Troy Ferus, revealed that it was nothing illegal, nor was it something concerning the environment. In addition, he surmised that the birds had eaten something poisonous, something which a farmer had put down legally,, to stop birds eating his crops. In truth, the poison was a double strength, granular pesticide, that was put down to stop birds eating the corn.
It is not the first time something like this has happened. On New Year's Eve 2010, thousands of birds splattered on roads, lawns and rooftops in Beebe, Arkansas. Around 5,000 red winged blackbirds died. The ground was turned black in some places, owing to the death of thousands of red winged blackbirds. Authorities believed it was due to high-altitude hail or lightning hitting the birds. However, laboratory tests showed a different story. The tests confirmed that the birds had died from 'multiple blunt force trauma'. In other words, they had flown into something.
The main suspect was New Year fireworks, that made the startled birds fly from their roosts and hurtle into trees, houses and each other. Over the last 20 years, The U.S Geological Survey has known of 16 cases where large blackbirds have all died at the same time. Investigators are concerned that they may never know the truth about what happened. However, authorities are quite clear in this New Jersey case, that the birds died due to poison.
Ferus said that, "the farmer seemed to be having a problem with birds eating his corn. He applied for a permit to use a pesticide that kills birds and he has been doing so successfully ever since."
NBC reports, the farmer used a ready to use liquid repellent and Avitrol Double Strength Corn Chops (EPA reg. # 11649-5) is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and intended to be used for bird control for Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Grackles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Rusty Blackbird, Starlings and Yellow-Headed Blackbirds.
NBC10's Ted Greenberg went to the Ingraldi Farm, but nobody would speak with him. Authorities claim that the dead birds are not toxic, but members of the public should exercise caution when picking up any dead bird. Therefore, they should wear gloves when picking a dead bird up and wash their hands thoroughly afterwards. There was a call out to residents on Tuesday afternoon, to stay indoors due to the smell and death of the birds within the area.
Authorities claim that the birds were killed deliberately, but legally. There are many other stories of birds being killed in various places around the world. One of the most famous incidents was on New Year's Eve, the death of hundreds of blackbirds in Arkansas, according to Before It's News.
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