Hundreds of migratory birds from Canada suddenly fell from the sky mid-flight in Chihuahua, Mexico Sunday.
The flock of yellow-headed blackbirds darkened the sky then plummeted to the ground in a Chihuahua neighborhood. Footage of the disturbing event shows some of the birds seemingly stunned as they fly off in different directions while several dozen birds lay dead on the ground.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Security footage shows a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds drop dead in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua pic.twitter.com/mR4Zhh979K
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 14, 2022
Many theories have been put forth about what could have caused the birds’ sudden descent. One veterinarian suggested that inhalation of toxic fumes, possibly from a heater, caused the bizarre incident. Another theory suggested that the birds may have been electrocuted while sitting on a power line.
Richard Broughton, an ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said that a predatory bird, such as a raptor, could have been responsible. Raptors chase flocks of birds, causing them to fly tightly together before potentially crashing into the ground, he explained.
An ornithologist suggested that the bird deaths may have been caused by high levels of air pollutants. There have been several incidents of large numbers of migratory birds dropping dead in New Mexico without a known cause.