Hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds have fallen out of the sky and died in northern Mexico in an unexplained phenomenon.
The incident occurred on the morning of 7th February and the chilling footage of the flock falling to their deaths was captured on CCTV.
According to the local newspaper El Heraldo de Chihuahua, the carcasses of the birds were strewn across the street in Cuauhtémoc city, but the cause of death remains unclear.
The blackbirds were flying south to Mexico from Canada for the rest of the winter. The dead migratory birds were found on the streets in the area of Alvaro Obregon in Cuauhtemoc, a city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, at around 5 am on 7th February.
According to The Independent reports, air pollution may have impacted them due to an increase in wood-burning heaters, agrochemicals, and low temperatures in the region.
It has also been suggested that they may have inhaled toxic smoke, or may have been electrocuted after standing on power lines.
Another prediction is that there might be a predatory bird involved with the case, experts told The Guardian. Although no such bird is seen in the video, Dr. Richard Broughton, an ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is certain that a predatory bird was responsible for pushing the flock of birds towards the ground.
Based on the footage, the birds descend from the sky as a unit, a phenomenon called “murmuration”, often seen in starlings. Broughton is confident that the flock reacted to the predator in this fashion but was forced too close to the ground where some of them crashed, and never were able to recover. Even after the flock moved away, many birds can be seen taking to the skies from the ground.
Dr. Alexander Lees from Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K. also agreed with this explanation and added that collision with infrastructure was quite common in birds.
In December 2019, 225 starlings were mysteriously found dead on a road in Anglesey, Wales. Their deaths were also attributed to a predator that likely forced them to crash on the tarmac, The Guardian reported.
Watch the video below for more details: