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What killed the birds?

Answers sought after birds fall from the sky

January 06, 2011
Thousands of dead red-winged blackbirds dropped out of the sky over Beebe, Ark., on New Year's Eve — the same week several hundred of the blackbirds as well as grackles, robins and starlings were found dead in Murray, Ky., and about 450 birds of similar varieties were found dead in Louisiana over the holiday weekend.

Now everyone from scientists to some religious leaders and end of days believers are speculating about the cause of the bird deaths.

Some officials attributed the incident to fireworks, while others believe high-elevation hail was to blame. Some folks claim the mysterious deaths presage an inevitable 2012 apocalypse or one recently forecast for this May.

On Wednesday morning, local naturalist Jerry Supernant discussed possible causes with Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary Director Barbara Frederick and a few visitors to the wildlife sanctuary.

"We were guessing that the birds might have ingested contaminated water, as there were reports of thousands of fish dying in a river nearby," Frederick said. "Perhaps the fish and birds came into contact with the same contaminated water."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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