In Beebe, Arkansas (pop. 4,930) people reported thousands of dead Redwing Blackbirds on the ground in the community between New Year’s Eve 2010 and January 1, 2011.
Here is the tally of dead birds and dead fish that have been discovered since New Year’s Eve and the week just before New Year’s Eve …
Up to 100 Jackdaw birds (a type of crow) found dead in Falkoeping, Sweden. See Svenska Dagbladet Döda fåglar även i Sverige (Dead Birds in Sweden) Swedish-to-English Translation Dead Birds in Falkirk … Original in Swedish Döda fåglar även i Falköping
About 500 Redwing Blackbirds found dead along Louisiana Highway 1/Morganza Hwy in Pointe Coupee Parish in Louisiana — about 300 miles south of Beebe Arkansas (where thousands of dead Redwing Blackbirds were discovered New Year’s Eve). See CBSNEWS Louisiana Latest Place to Rain Dead Birds
Dozens of birds dead in Gilbertsville, Kentucky Monday morning, see WPSD Local 6 (NBC Affiliate Western Kentucky) Woman reports dozens of dead birds in her yard
3,000 to 5,000 Redwing Blackbirds were killed and fell from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas with reports starting at about 11:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve, January 31, 2011. See USATODAY Trauma cited in mysterious Ark. bird kill
About 100,000 drum fish found dead along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River between the Ozark Dam and Highway 109 Bridge in northwest Arkansas, see KTHV (Little Rock/Pine Rock CBS affiliate) Dead fish cover 20-miles of Arkansas River and the fish were found last Thursday December 30, 2010, see MSNBC Up to 100,000 fish found dead along Arkansas River
Up to 100 tons of fish (sardine, croaker and catfish) turned up dead along the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil near Paraná, Paranaguá. See Paraná Online Mysterious killing of fish in coastal (Portugese-to-English translation a little rough)… Original Mortandade misteriosa de peixes no litoral
Tens of thousands of Menhayden, Spots and Croakers fish wash into Chesapeake Bay, Maryland starting ‘last week’. See wbaltv.com (NBC affiliate Baltimore, MD) MDE: Fish Kill Caused By Cold Stress
Biologists have speculated causes including weather phenomena (lightning and/or hail, both of which happened in the region) and stress from New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Early tests performed on some of the dead birds have indicated they died of internal injuries from blunt force trauma.
Redwing Blackbirds may winter as far north as Pennsylvania and British Columbia, but northern populations are generally migratory and move south to Mexico and the southern United States. Migration begins in September or October, but occasionally as early as August. In western and middle America, populations are generally non-migratory.
The Red-winged Blackbird inhabits open grassy areas. It generally prefers wetlands, and inhabits both freshwater and saltwater marshes, particularly if Typha (cattail) is present. Redwing Blackbirds are also found in dry upland areas, where they inhabits meadows, prairies, and old fields.
Redwing Blackbirds eat seeds and insects. The birds eat seeds from weeds and waste grain such as corn and rice, but about a quarter of the Redwing Blackbird’s diet consists of insects and other small animals, especially during breeding season. Redwing Blackbirds prefer insects, such as dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, moths, and flies, but also consume snails, frogs, eggs, carrion, worms, spiders, mollusks. The Red-winged Blackbird forages for insects by picking them from plants, or by catching them in flight. In season, Redwing Blackbirds eat blueberries, blackberries, and other fruit.
A day before the dead birds started falling, 100,000 drum fish were found dead floating in the Arkansas River. The cause of death of the fish is still being investigated, but was likely caused by a combination of factors including a population boom over the summer, a deadly pathogen and a harsh winter cold snap.
And more Redwing Blackbirds dead in Louisiana …
Blackbirds are having a hard time staying alive in the Southeastern U.S. Just a few days after 3,000 blackbirds fell from the sky in Arkansas, about 500 birds dropped to their death in Louisiana, littering a stretch of highway near Baton Rouge.
And more dead fish in of the coast of southern Brazil …
A survey conducted by the Federation of Fishermen’s Colony of Paraná, Paranaguá on the coast of the state, indicates that at least 100 tons of fish (sardine, croaker and catfish) have turned up dead since last Thursday, December 30, 2010 off the coast of Parana.