In different parts of the world, birds and fish are showing up dead. In a report by Gant Daily, hundreds of red-winged blackbirds plummeted to the ground after fireworks set them off. Meanwhile, reported the Boston Globe, thousands of dead herring washed ashore in northern Norway. Both events occurred on New Years' Eve.
For Beebe, Ark., this is a repeat occurrence of last year - in which over 5,000 lifeless birds fell from the sky. In response, fringe-y 'end of days' assumptions were linked with the bird deaths. However, it was soon learned that fireworks startled the birds out of their roosts, causing them to fly around in a disoriented state, where they would collide with stationary objects such as trees, power lines, and buildings.
This year, while the blackbird deaths are still believed to be firework-related, police and officials from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are probing what they believe to be an intentional act by humans to spook the birds and recreate last years' tragedy.
Game and Fish Commission spokeswoman Ginny Porter noted, "Someone went into [the blackbirds'] roost and set off fireworks. We didn't catch them; we don't know who."
Beebe resident Robbie Stroud said that the latest death of the birds was highly alarming, even if the numbers of fallen birds were not as large as that of the previous year. "It was pretty wild," he said. "We got [outside] and backed out of the driveway and it was freaky. There were dead birds lying everywhere."