A phenomena resulting in thousands of dead birds reported mysteriously fallen dead from the sky in Arkansas and Louisiana last week may have also taken place in Murray.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources officials reported ‘several hundred’ grackles, red wing blackbirds, robins and starlings were among those reported near Murray State University. The birds were primarily found in the Calloway Street, Ryan Avenue and College Terrace area.
Tony Black, a spokesman for KFWR, said the department received the report last week, took specimens and ordered some testing.
“We did find some dead birds most of which were roosting-type species,” Black said. “We did have some specimens sent off for testing. Poisoning has been ruled out, but outside of that it’s kind of up-in-the-air right now until we know the results.”
Sometimes there are natural die-offs with some of these migratory birds this time of year due to weather conditions, but other than that it’s kind of new to us too. We’re just waiting in test results,” he added.
KDFW spokesman Mark Marraccini said someone in Murray called police about the discovery and police alerted state officials, according to the AP report. Tracy Guge, a spokeswoman for the Murray Police Department, said the reports originated in the Calloway Street area.
A similar incident was reported in Marshall County, according to news reports. Murray State University officials said they knew of the incident, but not enough in detail to comment, according to MSU News Bureau manager Sherry McClain.
Marraccini also said tests performed on the birds ruled out diseases or poison as the cause of death. He said the deaths could have been caused by weather conditions or another natural event
In Arkansas, New Year's Eve fireworks has so far been blamed for causing the deaths of thousands of blackbirds in central Arkansas making national headlines, according to an Associated Press report Wednesday. Roughly 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell over a mile of land near Beebe, a small town in northwest Arkansas. Observers also spotted a large number of fish dead in a stream near the town of Ozark. In a statement Saturday morning, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission quoted staff ornithologist Karen Rowe as saying that such events have happened before around the world.
“Test results usually were inconclusive, but the birds showed physical trauma and that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail.”
Soon after the Arkansas report, about 500 red-winged blackbirds were found along a stretch of highway in Louisiana and both fish and birds were reported fallen in Sweden, according to news reports.