People in Chihuahua, Mexico, were surprised to find carcasses of hundreds of birds lying on the streets. It was certainly not a pleasant sight. However, the carcasses were of yellow-headed blackbirds, and a security camera had captured the incident. That is how the world came to know about the sudden death of hundreds of blackbirds. They fell from the sky and died on impact with the ground. Experts are trying to unearth the mystery. CNN reports Carlos Botero, an assistant professor of biology at a university, saying - "The cause of this bizarre and troubling incident is honestly anybody's guess at this point."

CNN reports there are many possibilities.

One of these could be the effect of poisonous gases. This can happen when the birds pass through an area where there are chemicals that could be lethal. To establish whether this happened, it would be necessary to carry out autopsies of the dead specimens. Another possibility is a predator. That might have frightened the birds, and they tried to fly away. A media report of April 2019 mentioned migratory birds killed after colliding with skyscrapers in the United States. They usually Travel from far-off places and know the routes to follow but could get disoriented at night due to lights. This is especially true when they fly over large cities, and the glow of bright lights acts as a distraction.

A predator could have scared the birds

CNN adds that in the opinion of ornithologist Richard Broughton, the death of the birds might have probably been due to the sudden appearance of a predator. He explained that the birds might have tried to avoid predators like a falcon. In his opinion, blackbirds have their own strategy to escape predators.

They swirl in the sky to confuse the large birds. In such a scenario, the falcon might have dived into the flock of birds and they scattered in different directions in their bid to escape. In August 2020, a news report said solar farms kill thousands of birds every year.

Difficult to ascertain reasons for the death of the birds

Those in the know put up several theories. From all appearances, the birds were trying to escape en-masse after an attack from a height. The predator could have attacked them from above and forced the birds to fly down, but they could not pull up in time. CNN clarifies that the timestamp of the video indicated it was evening. Andrew Farnsworth, attached to a lab specializing in ornithology in New York, has other views. He suggests that loud noise could have startled the birds. He says incidents of this nature have happened in the past. It is a relief that no one has broached the subject of a viral attack on the birds. That could have led to pressing the panic button.

Birds can die for various reasons

According to Roanoke, there have been instances in the past of our feathered friends dying while in flight. For example, in 1999, more than 100 large sea ducks were killed. It happened on Baffin Island in Canada. Their flight path was free of obstacles, and the reason for the crash was poor visibility.

Roanoke refers to a study that established it was due to cataracts in their eyes. Then there were the cases of the death of geese in the fields of southern Manitoba, Canada. These were of 1985 and 2003. In these cases, the birds suffered injuries because of disorientation in flight on moonless nights or were frightened by a thunderstorm. In the present case in Mexico, the birds were yellow-headed blackbirds. They are migratory birds belonging to the western and prairie wetlands of North America. They usually fly south to Mexico for the winter and return to the United States and Canada for the summer.