A video showing a massive flock of birds suddenly dropping out of the sky and dying in Mexico has gone viral on social media.
The yellow-headed blackbirds went from flying in a swarm in Cuauhtémoc city, in Chihuahua, Mexico, to lying dead on the pavement in a matter of only seconds in a shocking scene recorded by a security camera last Monday.
Thankfully, a number of the birds survived and could be seen flying off into the distance in the video.
Authorities are trying to work out why dozens of birds suddenly fell from the sky in Mexico. pic.twitter.com/JWXbVMYMkL
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) February 14, 2022
Mass death of flock of birds in Chihuahua, Mexico causes shock
Biologists and veterinarians are currently investigating the incident, along with local authorities, but scientists are still puzzled over the cause of the mass death of the migratory birds, which fly from Canada to Mexico every winter.
Some believe that the cause of the deaths was a marked increase in air pollution in Chihuahua due to low temperatures, which caused many residents to use wood-burning heaters.
The birds may have inhaled the smoke from the heaters, which is toxic, causing their deaths. Also, there is heavy use of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals in the area.
Others contend that the birds could have been electrocuted after sitting on power lines, or the mass death could be linked to recent droughts in the area which may have depleted the birds’ food supply.
Social media users rushed to chime in after the video went viral, with many people offering baseless conspiracy theories, such as 5G, as a potential cause of the incident.
Yellow-headed blackbirds are striking in appearance, with bright yellow heads and chests contrast with their jet-black bodies. The migratory species can be found in an area spanning from northwest Canada all the way to Mexico, and is abundant and not currently in threat of extinction.
Although uncommon, this is not the first case of a mass death of birds. In 2020, thousands of birds dropped dead in the southwestern USA. Experts linked the deaths to climate change and smoke inhalation from wildfires that struck the area that year.
Creepy flock spotted in Greece
Thousands of starlings flew near and over the Rio-Antirrio bridge in a tight sphere-like formation. They are seen expanding and contracting and changing shape, seemingly without any sort of leader. Each common starling instantly changes its course and speed as a result of the movement of its closest neighbors.
Thankfully, none of the birds in Greece passed away like those in Mexico. The starling is a highly gregarious species, especially in autumn and winter. Although flock size is highly variable, huge, noisy flocks – called murmurations – may form near roosts.
These dense concentrations of birds are thought to be a defense against attacks by birds of prey such as peregrine falcons or Eurasian sparrowhawks.