'Startled' Flock of Birds Slams Into the Ground

Mexico incident left dozens of dead birds in street
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 12:16 PM CST

Hundreds of blackbirds suddenly plunge from the sky and slam into buildings or the ground in a grim video captured by a security camera in Mexico. Most of the flock of yellow-headed blackbirds flew off afterwards, but dozens remained on the ground, dead or injured, CBS reports. Experts believe the birds were migrating from northern Canada to Mexico when something caused them to plummet from the sky in Chihuahua last week. There has been speculation that the incident could have been caused by pollution, power lines, or even 5G technology, but ornithologists say the most likely explanation by far is that the birds were startled by either a predator or a loud noise.

"This looks like a raptor like a peregrine or hawk has been chasing a flock, like they do with murmurating starlings, and they have crashed as the flock was forced low," British ecologist Richard Broughton tells the Guardian. "You can see that they act like a wave at the beginning, as if they are being flushed from above." Martha Desmond, an ornithologist at New Mexico State University, tells Gizmodo that the incident wasn't wildly unusual. "While this can be shocking to see, these events do occur—just usually not caught on camera," she says. (In an Arkansas town, thousands of dead birds fell from the sky one New Year's Eve.)

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