Two curious episodes of mass bird deaths are bewildering authorities and the public in Austin, Texas, and in Western Australia. In Austin on Monday, about 60 dead pigeons, sparrows, and grackles (pictured) looked sufficiently creepy for police to cordon off 10 downtown blocks. The best guess for the cause of death so far is poisoning by some fool harboring a serious grudge and/or poop-splattered vehicle.
Then, the very next day came news of 4,000 birds dropping dead in and around the Western Australia town of Esperance. Circumstances seemed similar to Austin – no apparent natural cause of death and no infections – although the birds involved sound considerably cooler: yellow-throated miners and two kinds of honeyeaters.
The coincidental timing has left people wondering if some common agent is at work. Beyond the likelihood that both groups of birds were poisoned by some moronic prankster (a la the Happy Mondays in Twenty-Four Hour Party People) – the answer is probably no. Sure, the poison could occur naturally, which would let moronic pranksters off the hook (i.e., avian botulism regularly kills water birds in stagnant waters like the Salton Sea). But as a quick-thinking Australian official pointed out, Esperance’s dead birds eat mainly insects and nectar, not aquatic plants. Austin’s city birds are even less likely to sip tainted pond water.
What I like about this raging debate is how it depends on the incredible information flow at our fingertips. In what other age would someone in Santa Cruz, California, stumble across separate reports of grackles and honeyeaters going toes-up on literally opposite sides of the globe?
Our age of connectivity is especially splendid for folks who naturally find connections beguiling. The Austin American-Statesman reports people hazarding explanations ranging from fermented berries to blinding skyscraper reflections to carbon monoxide.
But that’s the small stuff. Check out the Liberty Press, which actually has an interesting interview with an Australian official but then goes straight off the deep end in the Comments section. Apparently, all it would take to pick off these birds would be
a space based satellite weapon capable of transmitting microwave power in the order of mega watts in a narrow or broad beam, and playing into the 20,000 foot thick barium loaded “air” or “aerosol bank” we now all breathe.
the aerosol spray that is coming out of these black program jets at high altitude which everyone is calling “chem trails”. That substance is “hydrostatic”, meaning that is absorbs water. If the birds got too much of that they might have died of dehydration.
working out the first possibility, it does sound reasonable, sort of
But if we had such a weapon (and I suppose now that the air will carry power over the free electron tracks provided by all the barium, private individuals might go to work developing such weapons) I can see that they might include a method for adjusting the intensity of the power, as well as the focal point.
and as if you need any further proof
What do I know? Not much. Neither does any other American because SO MUCH MONEY IS BEING SPENT SECRETLY.
Want a prediction? I bet the regular news doesn’t carry this story to any extent, and I predict that the “cause” will never be found.
For what it’s worth, a rather less complicated solution – the poisoning angle – is outlined and some actual poisons proposed here.
P.S. Unrelated advice (imagine conspiratorial whisper if you like): for those of you who think this blog is either too pelagic or not birdy enough, check out the Web’s first blogging nuthatch here. Be sure to check out the YouTube link: a kingfisher thwacking a giant fish against a bridge while trying to figure out how to swallow it.