It’s Raining Cats and…Blackbirds?

I’ve never considered myself a superstitious person, but every once in a while, an event occurs that makes me — well…wonder. How’s this for a bad omen: 1,000 dead blackbirds fall from the sky a half hour before the start of the new year.

It sounds like something out of a Hitchcock film or an episode of the Twilight Zone. Yet over a one-mile area in Beebe, Ark., this bizarre occurrence actually did happen, according to a report from the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission (AFGC).

The AFGC hypothesizes that the birds may have been struck by lighting or high-altitude hail, or that New Year’s fireworks celebrations could be to blame. Tests will be conducted this week to determine if poison or toxins played any role in the deaths.

If toxins are to blame, this will be a critical issue to monitor going forward. Incidents like this one, however, have been exceedingly rare, the AFGC notes, but they have happened before.

What do you think caused this bizarre massacre? Scientific testing on the birds should provide us with some answers, or at least a few more clues. Until then, I’ll try to erase the macabre image from my mind and envision a positive year ahead. Happy New Year!

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