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Huge Flock Of Blackbirds Suddenly Appear To Drop Dead Mid-Flight, Theories Spread

Hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds fell from the sky, and about 100 appeared to die, in Chihuahua, Mexico, on Feb. 7.

The flock of blackbirds quickly descended upon a Chihuahua neighborhood street in footage shared by Reuters, briefly blackening the sky. Most of the birds continued flying in different directions, but dozens remained on the ground, seemingly dead.

Several theories have spread about the cause of the birds’ sudden descent or death. A veterinarian suggested that inhalation of toxic fumes, possibly from a heater, caused the bizarre incident, according to The Chihuahua Herald. The newspaper also speculated that the birds may have been electrocuted while sitting on a power line.

Richard Broughton, an ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, told the Guardian that a predatory bird, such as a raptor, was the likely cause. Raptors chase flocks of birds, causing them to fly tightly together before crashing into the ground, he explained.

The Independent suggested that blame for the bird deaths may lie with high levels of air pollutants. There have been several incidents of large numbers of migratory birds dropping dead in New Mexico, according to the Independent. The birds that crashed in Chihuahua were migratory birds from Canada, the outlet said.

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