A Fish & Bird Mystery in the Natural State

Photo by Wmpearl

There’s some strange stuff going on in my home state of Arkansas.  First, CNN reported that as many as 5,000 dead starlings and red-winged blackbirds dropped from the sky around midnight on New Year’s Eve in the town of Beebe, a small hamlet northeast of Little Rock.  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) has begun an investigation.  One theory is that the birds were struck by lightening.  Fireworks activity may have also factored into the bizarre incident.  In a BBC article, Fireworks may have caused Arkansas bird deaths, ornithologist Karen Rowe of the AGFC, suggests the birds may have flown low to avoid fireworks explosions and crashed into trees, houses or even into one another.   Apparently, blackbirds don’t have very good vision.  At least the birds weren’t radicalized like those in the Hitchcock film.  That was one of the cheesiest films of all time but positively horrifying.

In another disturbing incident from the Natural State, 100,000 drum fish washed ashore the banks of the Arkansas River, not far from the bird catastrophe.  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission believe the fish to have fallen prey to disease, not water pollution.   For some, good riddance.  The Drum is not the most prized fish in lakes and rivers.  As far as I know, there is no Drum Club or a fishing show devoted to catching these bottom dwellers.  If it had been a mess of crappie or bass, fishermen from all over would have mourned their passing.