Mystery solved for dozens of birds plummeting to death from the sky in B.C. - InfoNews

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Mystery solved for dozens of birds plummeting to death from the sky in B.C.

Remains of European starlings that fell from the sky, landing dead or dying by the side of a road in Delta, B.C., in a Sept. 14, 2018, handout photo. A natural occurrence is behind the unusual deaths of about 40 starlings that plummeted to the ground in Delta, B.C., earlier this month.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kevin Beech
September 26, 2018 - 5:30 PM

VANCOUVER - A natural occurrence is behind the unusual deaths of about 40 starlings that plummeted to the ground in Delta, B.C., earlier this month.

When Vancouver resident Kevin Beech witnessed the birds falling from the sky, he called it "birdageddon," saying it was really creepy.

But a statement from Environment and Climate Change Canada's Wildlife Service says the flock of birds was being chased by a much larger bird just before the starlings hit the ground.

The service says the cloud of birds swooped toward the ground and then pulled back up but the tail end of the swarm didn't and about 200 birds hit the ground, killing 42 starlings on impact.

A veterinarian pathologist with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture conducted a necropsy and found the cause of death was a chest injury and there was no evidence of underlying infectious disease or intoxication.

The service says European starlings can form very large flocks and they execute amazing swooping and whirling patterns, called a murmuration, to avoid a predatory bird.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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