Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Bird Droppings
January 15, 2007 6:30 AM   Subscribe

They shut down part of Austin last week, thousands did it in Esperance, Western Australia, record numbers in England and thousands more along I-84 in Idaho. Conspiracies abound; could it be poison, or testing EM weapons, "some kid with a BB gun" or drunk on hackberries or maybe it is global warming?

Sometimes the explanation is pretty simple but mostly, scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what is causing bird to drop dead out of the skies all over the globe at an alarming rate.
posted by DragonBoy (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Paging Art Bell.
posted by billysumday at 6:31 AM on January 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Birds are dying!
posted by BeerFilter at 6:37 AM on January 15, 2007


It's some kids with the Super Ninja Ranger Neutron Bomb Kits they got for christmas.
posted by IronLizard at 6:46 AM on January 15, 2007


It's the Clear Skies Act. Clearing the sky of birds since 2003.
posted by Mister_A at 6:59 AM on January 15, 2007


record numbers in England

The parasite, known as trichomoniasis, is not linked to avian flu and poses no risk to humans, experts say.

posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:01 AM on January 15, 2007


There is a beautiful short story by Garcia Marquez, called something like A Day After Saturday that features bird droppings in Macondo, in which would be the first appearance of the town in any of his writings. Lovely read. Highly recommended.
posted by micayetoca at 7:09 AM on January 15, 2007


Another is to seek money for highway signs that warn people about the owls -- a lot like deer crossing signs.

Give a Hoot: Duck
posted by hal9k at 7:10 AM on January 15, 2007


why do birds drop dead from the sky every time we walk by?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:22 AM on January 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


I don't want to eat the birds that fall from the sky, Daddy!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:27 AM on January 15, 2007


Photos found on Flickr of the Big Bird scare
posted by mrbob at 7:30 AM on January 15, 2007


Maybe this guy should be brought in for questioning. He always looks so damn smug. He knows something.
posted by iconomy at 7:42 AM on January 15, 2007


I was under the impression Trichomoniasis was a common yet annoying STD, like chlamydia.

God is punishing those avian sluts.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:01 AM on January 15, 2007


why do birds drop dead from the sky every time we walk by?

thanks to me they soon will be dead bird stew...
posted by quonsar at 8:10 AM on January 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Here is the list of 63 Reasons why they died
posted by growabrain at 8:26 AM on January 15, 2007


Canaries in the coal mine, my friends. Canaries in the coal mine.
posted by spock at 8:31 AM on January 15, 2007


“They had it coming if they decided to change direction in front of me. They had it coming.”

I'm imagining the mom in the SUV shivering in a blanket, covered in blood and feathers, muttering "They had it coming" over and over and over...

This is really creepy stuff; thanks for putting it together.
posted by mediareport at 8:37 AM on January 15, 2007


Just like me,
They long to be,
Toast to you.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:53 AM on January 15, 2007


BeerFilter:

Bravo, man. Bravo.
posted by phaedon at 9:03 AM on January 15, 2007


Those Grackles are nuts. When I was in town for South By Southwest a few years ago, I spent a few hours on that same street recording them chirping and "grackling" away. The make quite an invasive cacophony, and I can totally see someone accidentally plowing through a cloud of them on Congress Ave.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 9:14 AM on January 15, 2007


Apparently, flying kites using glass covered string can be harmful to birds. (The glass coated string is used to cut the strings of one's kite flying competitors)

1000's of birds dropping from the sky while they are flying is pretty outrageous.
posted by nickyskye at 9:14 AM on January 15, 2007


Scientists are at a loss to explain the freak showers of tiny cubes of ice.
posted by Nelson at 9:21 AM on January 15, 2007


Darn you Nelson, stealing my idea for a joke!

Oh well, just go with a real comment: "They had it coming!" just like that hobo.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 9:30 AM on January 15, 2007


I was just about to post a link to the Wikipedia article on trichomoniasis. Maybe we should save the birdies by putting out birdseed laced with Flagyl?

(Does trichomaniasis in the human male urethra go away by itself? I never knew to get tested for it....)
posted by davy at 9:46 AM on January 15, 2007


> Does trichomaniasis in the human male urethra go away by itself? I never knew to get tested for it....

Nothing undesirable ever goes away by itself. Law of nature.
posted by jfuller at 10:12 AM on January 15, 2007


Trichomoniasis, a tropical protozoal organism, infecting birds in England. . . sounds like global warming. They drank water from some place where the organism thrived. They had no immunity to the organism because their environments were once separate.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:36 AM on January 15, 2007


I can't believe after all this time that nobody has autopsied them. Where is UT and Texas A&M in all this? If they've done tests and we're not hearing about it, I'll just assume it's bird flu and that they're trying to prevent a scare.
posted by rolypolyman at 10:37 AM on January 15, 2007


cyclopsis, didn't mediareport already steal that one?
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 10:39 AM on January 15, 2007


Ah, grackles and UT memories.

The grackles were so bad on 26th street that when we'd walk from Simkins down to Kinsolving for dinner, some of us would carry umbrellas -- with nary a cloud in the sky. The birds returned from a long day at IM Fields and elsewhere eating bugs and whatnot, and they'd sit in the trees on campus grackling away and digesting their meals. A motorcycle backfiring -- or, perversely, a loud handclap -- would startle them into spontaneous defecation, and they clustered so thickly in the trees that it was Russian roulette as to whether you'd get spattered.

(Pls excuse the derail)
posted by pax digita at 11:20 AM on January 15, 2007


Ah, grackles and UT memories.

The grackles were so bad on 26th street that when we'd walk from Simkins down to Kinsolving for dinner, some of us would carry umbrellas -- with nary a cloud in the sky. The birds returned from a long day at IM Fields and elsewhere eating bugs and whatnot, and they'd sit in the trees on campus grackling away and digesting their meals. A motorcycle backfiring -- or, perversely, a loud handclap -- would startle them into spontaneous defecation, and they clustered so thickly in the trees that it was Russian roulette as to whether you'd get spattered.

(Pls excuse the derail)
posted by pax digita at 11:21 AM on January 15, 2007


Oh, snap.
posted by pax digita at 11:21 AM on January 15, 2007


They're obviously testing some sort of secret governmental Pie Cannon.
Duh.
posted by Dizzy at 11:39 AM on January 15, 2007


The story gets stranger; it appears that I missed the 500 to 2,500 ducks who dropped dead in Seattle in December.
posted by DragonBoy at 11:41 AM on January 15, 2007


I love birds so to me this is particularly sad, but whatever the cause, certainly we shall see similar problems triggered by global warming and it won't just be birds who are affected.
posted by chance at 11:53 AM on January 15, 2007


The story gets stranger; it appears that I missed the 500 to 2,500 ducks who dropped dead in Seattle in December.

How do scads of ducks get "bacterial infection"?
posted by Listener at 11:57 AM on January 15, 2007


Do you like our owl?
posted by boo_radley at 12:02 PM on January 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


As far as the car and the birds, or the highway and the birds, it must be that onstar, and other navigation systems, even GPS systems might share some homing frequency with bird species, and the birds flock with the vehicles, with morbid consequences. The story of the flock passing and then, coming back, makes me think that it could be a possibility. Barn owls are one of those nocturnal creatures that hunt with highly sophisticated means, maybe we have entered their radar scheme.
posted by Oyéah at 12:33 PM on January 15, 2007


I'm gonna go with atmospheric pollution, with a 200 dollar rider on "fucked-up weapons testing".
posted by tehloki at 1:24 PM on January 15, 2007


> I love birds so to me this is particularly sad, but whatever the cause, certainly we shall see
> similar problems triggered by global warming and it won't just be birds who are affected.

So, why can't it ever be people?
posted by jfuller at 6:31 PM on January 15, 2007


jfuller - people just go apeshit and start a war or something
posted by pyramid termite at 9:40 PM on January 15, 2007


In addition to the stories mentioned above, there's also been reported cases of birds dropping from the sky in Orlando, Longmont, CO, and thousands of poultry in France and Japan...all in the last 6 weeks or so.

Me, I'm putting on my tinfoil hat, and blaming HAARP.
posted by dejah420 at 9:50 PM on January 15, 2007


tinfoil hats aren't going to protect you against falling birds, dude ... you need a steel sombrero for that
posted by pyramid termite at 10:12 PM on January 15, 2007


In this case (bottom of page) it's avian cholera:

Avian cholera has caused the deaths of more than 500 ducks [near] Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Fowl cholera, as it is known, is a relatively common disease of North American waterfowl. It is caused by a bacterium and spreads rapidly from bird-to-bird and can kill thousands of birds in a single outbreak. While lethal to waterfowl, the disease does not affect humans.
posted by Listener at 1:20 AM on January 16, 2007


I 'spect that many of the threats to frogs world-wide apply to birds as well.

As for Australia, they've been enjoying what I've read is the worst drought in 1000 years.

I also 'spect that we're a more jittery and watchful about the birds because of 1. the internet/social networking reporting stuff that MSM would replace with distractions, and 2. all the nasty stuff we know we're doing to the environment.
posted by Twang at 4:05 PM on January 16, 2007


« Older Mathematicians in the 1940s became curious about F...  |  For those of us who can't get ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments