The USGS has determined that the blackbirds in Arkansas “died from impact trauma” and that is consistent with what the state determined, which is that “such trauma was probably a result of the birds being startled by loud noises on the night of Dec. 31, arousing them and causing them to fly into objects such as houses or trees.”

Also “Although wildlife die-offs always pose a concern, they are not all that unusual,” said Jonathan Sleeman, director of the USGS NWHC in Madison, Wis., which is completing its analyses of the Arkansas and Louisiana birds. “It’s important to study and understand what happened in order to determine if we can prevent mortality events from happening again.”

Now shut up.  The world isn’t ending and neither the government nor anyone else is killing blackbirds as some kind of sinister plot.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.