The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
200+ Starlings Found Mysteriously Dead on Welsh Road
Police in Wales are in the midst of an unusual investigation: the sudden death of more than 200 starlings.
The birds were found on a road in Anglesey, an island off the Welsh coast, The Guardian reported. The bodies were discovered Tuesday afternoon on the road and in the hedges nearby, but none of them were found in the surrounding fields.
"It's as if they just dropped down dead from the sky," 41-year-old Dafydd Edwards, whose partner discovered the birds, told BBC News.
Edwards' partner Hannah Stevens, who first noticed the birds, said she saw a "massive flock" fly through the sky and then land and eat something on the road, North Wales Live reported.
An hour later, they were dead.
"I counted 150 last night but I gave up as there's just hundreds of them littered everywhere," Edwards told BBC News.
The North Wales Police (NWP) think approximately 225 birds died. The Animal and Plant Health Agency has collected bodies for testing to determine the cause of death.
The police were initially stumped by the investigation, and put out calls for help.
"It happened yesterday evening at around 3:40pm so if you have any information or if you might have seen it happen here because it is very strange, please let us know," police constable (PC) Dewi Evans said, according to North Wales Live.
But in a Tweet Wednesday evening, the NWP's Rural Crime Team hinted that they may have cracked the case.
"We believe we may have the reason now...but we are awaiting the toxicology and post mortem results before releasing it," they wrote.
During their investigation, the police discovered this might not be the first time a mass death of starlings has occurred in that particular location.
"We're hearing one story that it happened in exactly the same place many, many years ago so we're just trying to confirm that as well," NWP Rural Crime Team Manager Rob Taylor told North Wales Live.
In a similar case in Canada in 2018, more than 40 starlings died when they hit the pavement near a British Columbia ferry terminal, CTV News reported. Wildlife officials determined the birds had been fleeing a larger bird, and the birds who died failed to pull out of a dive in time.
A mass death of more than 350 starlings in the Hague in the Netherlands during the fall of 2018 was also determined to be caused when the birds panicked and collided with the ground, according to The Holland Times.
- Neonics May Be Killing Birds in Addition to Bees, Groundbreaking ... ›
- Birds Populations Are Rapidly Declining in North America - EcoWatch ›
- American Skyscrapers Kill an Estimated 600 Million Migratory Birds ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.
Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.
Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.
Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.
East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.