BEEBE After thousands of blackbirds fell dead from the sky last New Year's Eve, Beebe residents and officials were more vigilant over this holiday weekend.
Around 7 p.m. Saturday, about three hours earlier than the occurrence on Dec. 31, 2010, residents began to notice a repeat of last year's incident but in much fewer numbers. Authorities that tested the birds last year ultimately said the birds were literally scared to death by fireworks. Although the cause of the bird deaths in Saturday's incident have not been confirmed, Beebe police enforced an emergency fireworks ban as soon as the deaths began.
Beebe Animal Control Officer Horace Taylor said he believes the ban helped curb the death toll this time around. Taylor said officials recovered the corpses of nearly 300 birds from roadways Sunday morning, and estimates another 200 remain in the yards of residents.
"We told the police station if anybody calls, tell them we'll be (at their homes) Tuesday to pick them up," Taylor said. He added that residents could also dispose of the birds themselves if they wished to clean their yards before Tuesday.
Taylor said that the game wardens have collected the birds they need to run tests, and the city will dispose of the remaining corpses. "We'll probably bury them down at the landfill, as far as I know."