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story.lead_photo.caption Workers with United States Environmental Services LLC don protective gear as they pick up dead birds along Leewood Cove on Sunday morning in Beebe. - Photo by Stephen B. Thornton

About 1,000 black birds fell from the sky over Beebe on Friday night, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said in a news release Saturday.

Around 11:30 p.m., the commission began receiving phone calls about the birds, most of which were dead and fell over a 1-mile span, the release said.

Wildlife officer Robby King collected about 65 dead birds that will be sent to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis.

Officers flew over the area and determined no birds had fallen outside that part of the city, the release said.

Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe said in the release that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail.

Or the birds could have died from stress if disturbed from their roost by fireworks celebrating the New Year.

Beebe has hired the commission to dispose of the birds.


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Archived Comments

  • Donald
    January 1, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.

    What.? 1000. Please

  • saneinthebrain
    January 1, 2011 at 5:44 p.m.

    Black bird singing in the dead of night!

  • Oldearkie
    January 1, 2011 at 8:26 p.m.

    Methane from a dump?

  • WTF
    January 2, 2011 at 4:14 a.m.

    I would go with methane. There most likely would have been clear evidence if lightning were the culprit, at least while the bodies were collected (burns, missing feathers, etc.)

  • AfriSynergy
    January 3, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.

    Destroying the birds must not be permitted. This is not something that should be dismissed as lightening striking a flock of birds. Lightening didn't kill tens of thousands of fish a 125 miles away.

    What experiments with bio-engineered methane gas is being carried out in Arkansas? See the following:

    December 2010 16:31
    A University of Arkansas researcher is part of a team which has created the first methane-producing microorganism which can metabolize complex carbon structures, which could lead to microbial recycling of waste products and their transformation into natural gas. Dr. Daniel J. Lessner, associate professor of biological sciences, worked with a team at Penn State on the research.

    Lessner and his colleagues worked with methanogens, methane-producing anaerobic microorganisms from the domain archaea that are thought to date back further in time than any other life form..........

    T. West