Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why Do Birds Fall Down From The Sky?

That's actually a bad mangling of the old Carpenter's Song called Close to You.

The music cue's aside, there was a strange thing that happened New Years Eve.  The reports started coming in that thousands of birds were falling from the sky in Arkansas on New Years after everyone got up with a hangover. 

I don't want to clean up after all those birds, I have my own and he makes his own mess.   Cleaning Oscar's cage is one of the tasks I'll have today. 

At any rate, it wasn't just in Arkansas that this happened.  There were reports in Sweden and Kentucky as well.  What the cause was was a bit of a mystery until people pieced it all together. 


Apparently what happened was that in many areas, the birds were having a bad winter of it.  Stressed out by bad amounts of food, as well as bizarre weather there were flocks of birds that were having a bad time. 

Birds are an odd thing from time to time.  I can tell you that the parrot I have had since 1986 knows my comings and goings and thinks he knows what to expect from me.  I'm a bit of a "Big Kid" so I've been known to do strange things like have helium balloons in the house, flying toys across the room and put electronics or just knickknacks just out of reach for him to obsess over. 

If I could just get him to stop obsessing over my woodwork...

He's pretty unflappable though.  If he sees a balloon he'll shrink from it since he just has no idea what this thing that is twice as long as he is and again as wide.  The flying toys are another thing entirely but they're not always my doing.  Sometimes the dog grabs her cat/squirrel/monkey plush toy and whip it around like a Willow Smith video allowing it to go airborne.  Oscar doesn't like that either. 

Basically birds don't care for strangeness since they consider themselves mostly to be prey animals.   Just putting Oscar out on the table in front of the house will stress him out especially if the buzzards are flying around.

Now you have the back story.  What happened on New Years Eve that threw them off?

You did. 

Not necessarily you personally, it could be your neighbor.  More likely it would have been the local fireworks display that the city had nearby those particular flocks.  The birds had no idea why they were being awaken in the middle of the night by screaming banshees of light.  The weaker ones were stressed out and died.  In massive numbers.

Human beings being (hmmm) what they are, I doubt that we're going to change our celebrations.  Millions of birds live in China and their use of fireworks is what got Western societies celebrating with fireworks to begin with. 

I'm afraid we'll see more of these until the weak ones are gone and the species adjusts.  It would be better if we didn't disturb them... but I doubt that will change.

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