Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

January 4, 2011

It’s Raining Red-Winged Blackbirds


CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

IT’S RAINING RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS

     One thousand…two thousand…NO, FIVE THOUSAND red-winged blackbirds rained from skyward, traumatizing many New Year’s revelers in small town Beebe, Arkansas. Some residents, however, may have gloried in the downfall—that is, until these cats became ill from overeating!

     It remains a mystery as to the cause of this event. However, it encourages a rewrite of the saying It’s raining cats and dogs—the new version: it’s raining red-winged blackbirds.

     Although poison has been ruled out, multiple causes for the event have been put forth:

  • Foul play? No pun intended…
  • Excessive environmental noise? Birds collided in mid-flight from this stress.
  • Fireworks set off by New Year revelers? This could have startled the birds into leaving their roost and dying from stress.
  • A sudden storm?
  • A lightning strike?
  • Collision with a man-made flying object?
  • Biblical prophecy—sign of the end times?

     The reasons are limited only by your imagination!

     Regardless, I am reminded of reading that birds fell from the sky in Maine during the summer of 1816, when snow flew and residents ice skated in July and August. The cause for that birdfall was excessive, unseasonably cold weather.

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January 4, 2011: Researchers say fireworks probably startled thousands of blackbirds…tests showed lightning was probably not to blame. And poisoning was ruled out earlier.   AP article

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NOTE: Tomorrow, January 5, 2011, is National Bird Day, celebrated because:

  • The beauty, songs, and flight of birds have long been sources of human inspiration.
  • Today, nearly 12 percent of the world’s 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world’s 330 parrot species.
  • Birds are sentinel species whose plight serves as barometer of ecosystem health and alert system for detecting global environmental ills.
  • Many of the world’s parrots and songbirds are threatened with extinction due to pressures from the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss.
  • Public awareness and education about the physical and behavioral needs of birds can go far in improving the welfare of the millions of birds kept in captivity.
  • The survival and well-being of the world’s birds depends upon public education and support for conservation.  

(http://nationalbirdday.com/)

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 ADDITIONAL READING:

FERAL BIRDS: THE LATEST COMMUNITY HAZARD

Googins Island, Maine: An Osprey Sanctuary

Osprey in New York’s St. Lawrence Valley

Nauru: Wealth from Bird Guano (Poop)

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

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