See A Huge Flock Of Birds Fall From The Sky, Dead

By Charlene Badasie | 3 months ago

birds falling

A rather disturbing video of hundreds of birds falling from the sky has gone viral on social media. The creepy scene seemed to have been ripped right out of a Hitchcock movie. The incident occurred on February 7th in the northern Mexican city of Cuauhtémoc. The footage from a security camera shows the flock of migratory birds falling onto houses like a cloud of black smoke.

Most of them managed to fly off. But subsequent footage shows the distinctive black and yellow birds’ bodies scattered on streets of the city after their fall. According to local reports, these particular birds tend to breed farther north (in the United States and Canada) and migrate south for winter in Mexico. Check out the horrific footage below:

At the time, the birds’ cause of death was unclear. But a veterinarian told the El Heraldo de Chihuahua that the high levels of pollution – driven by the use of wood-burning heaters, agrochemicals, and cold weather in the area – could be the cause. Social media speculation claimed the birds’ fall was caused by climate change. Another suggestion was that they were electrocuted while resting on power lines, or were driven mad by 5G technology.

However, experts say the flock was probably flushed from above by a predatory bird swooping down to catch them. In their attempt to escape, they got too close to the ground and appeared to fall. Speaking to The Guardian, ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Dr. Richard Broughton said that although he could not see a raptor in the footage, he was 99% sure it was caused by the predatory bird.

In nature, a predator causes birds to swirl tightly and drive them towards the ground. When this happens higher flying birds force lower ones to fall to the ground, or crash into buildings. After examining the video, he said it looks like a raptor, a peregrine, or hawk had been chasing a flock like they do with murmuration starlings. “They have crashed as the flock was forced low. You can see that they act as a wave at the beginning – as if they are being flushed from above,” he told the publication.

You can see how starlings typically move as a group in the longer video from National Geographic below.

Senior lecturer in conservation biology at Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr. Alexander Lees, agreed, saying from his part (and from one video and no toxicology report) the most probable cause is the birds moving as one to avoid a predatory raptor and falling to the ground. He noted that there always seems to be a kneejerk response to blame environmental pollutants. But collisions with infrastructure are very common. In a tightly packed flock, the birds are following the movements of the bird in front rather than interpreting their wider surroundings.

So it’s not unexpected that such events happen occasionally. Interestingly, in December 2019, the deaths of 225 starlings were reported in Anglesey, North Wales. At the time, police called in the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency to examine some of the birds. The initial postmortem results showed they had severe internal trauma from impact. Upon further investigation, the birds appeared to fall to the tarmac after being chased by a predatory bird. They just failed to pull up in time and died in the streets.