Monday, January 03, 2011


Regarding the dead fish and birds in Arkansas..

Hey, the GOP is taking over the House this week. Puppies and kittens are next. You know they are, followed by Grandma and Tiny Tim. It's just too bad Grayson is not around to point these things out anymore.

MORE 1/3/11

A CSI investigation is in on the berds (imagine a Hitchcock accent):
"The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages," said Rowe.
Well yes, and that's quite a conundrum if that something "very hard" was not the ground. There's absolutely nothing beside an airplane that would be very hard in the atmosphere, and we know it wasn't an aircraft since hitting a field of starlings/black birds would be traumatic for any flying object and nothing was reported.

My rudimentary knowledge of their pattern is this--they fly off the roost at dawn and back at dusk in massive waves that sometimes darken the sky. I saw one just this morning going to work. They can even appear on doppler radars. It's not unusual for them to invade a series of trees and cackle, even after sunset. Who knows what these birds were doing, but something certainly made them fly around 10 pm, which seems odd.

Weather radar suggests there were no thunderstorms in the Beebe area around 10pm, with most of the activity passing east much earlier in the evening. An archive report from Little Rock, just to the southwest, shows no remarkable weather around the time of event, nor does this one from nearby Searcy.

So, assuming weather (lightning) was not a factor (and that's not conclusive since there could have been some hail not reported) that leaves their other theory--fireworks. Going back to the assessment of the folks from the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, they said the birds died of blunt force trauma, either from hitting something or hitting the ground. We assume they weren't AQ in training or suddenly became suicidal (over the new Congress) so something had to zap them first to make them fall. Saying their organs were intact seems to rule out shock, surprise over fireworks so that leaves what, a cloud of gas of some sort? But wouldn't that have harmed and other creatures as well?

OK, well it seems this story may be destined for two directions. One, it was some weird global warming effect heretofore unknown, perhaps associated with massive warming of the sub surface layer or the aliens are sending a stronger message to Obama. Otherwise, I got nothing.

MORE 1/3/11

Here's an MSNBC article stating that the birds were not poisoned, because there were no instance of dead cats in the neighborhood after munching on some of them. It also says they died 'in midair', which narrows things down (if true). IF they died in midair then there appears to be only one plausible explanation--they ran into another dense flock of birds. But why would they have been on the move that late?

The above story said there were loud noises before the event, which could have been shotgun blasts or some other noise effort to get them to move on down the road. The MSNBC story says these same kind of birds (generally nuisances) had been pestering Beebe some years ago before they tried some mitigation, so maybe this was some kind of a state effort gone wrong and nobody's talking.

But if they were spooked by the noise and assuming several large flocks took off at the same time then collided, well that's a pretty quick event and not something spaced over a large area. An Examiner story had this quote:
Joseph Brean of the National Post writes: "Within just a few minutes over about a kilometer and a half, it was raining birds; they fell onto houses and lawns, dead as Monty Python’s Norwegian Blue parrot. A wildlife officer responding to an emergency call reported that he arrived on the scene as birds were still falling around him, some of them still alive."
That's about a mile in area, which seems way too large to be just a few roosts. Also, if a guy showed up on the scene after being called via 911 and birds were still falling it seems far too slow for just a quick scare-then-midair after fireworks. However, if the noise scared almost every roost in town, and say there were 15,000 or more birds chilling before the event, then maybe a bunch of them survived the collisions, in other words, a lof of unreported near-misses as well. From what we know so far it sounds like a massive roost of sleeping birds scared shitless by a noise of some sort, causing them all to fly off like bats out of hell with a massive bird collision, taking out about 5000. It would seem prudent to identify the noise next because if there was no big noise then I'm back to nothing. And yes, I'm spending way too much time on this.

By the way, as if on cue some commenters on the MSNBC site are bringing in the Pine Bluff Arsenal, one even saying the wind favored some kind of dispersal plume to drift into Beebe. First of all, no it didn't--the weather reports above clearly show the surface wind was westerly (Pine Bluff is almost due south and over 50 miles away) and second, if there was some kind of deadly cloud released then it would have killed many other living things and not just a bunch of blackbirds.

But admittedly that was one aspect I left out of the speculation on the previous update--blaming it on Bush. One must ALWAYS consider this for every calamity, so my bad.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

We can only hope, ha.

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