Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Blackbird dying in the dead of night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

-- The Beatles, Blackbird

This story is just too good to pass up, so Guambat will join the merry throng finding much to puzzle over in this one, and be amused by all the hysteria.

It all started late in December with this fishy story that caught Guambat's eye. Guambat's parents live in Arkansas, so he pays some attention to the goings on there.

Officials Investigate Dead Fish in Logan Co.
The Arkansas Department of Health is advising people fishing near the Roseville Community Boat Ramp in Logan County off Highway 30 not to eat any of the dead fish floating in the water.

Several thousand fish, primarily Drum, have been killed. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality are investigating how the fish died.
Department Of Health Warns About Fish Kill
The fish line a stretch of the bank about a mile long.

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality investigator Travis Harmon said inspectors have considered a toxic dump and low oxygen levels but have nearly ruled out both.

"It's a single species kill. We don't know the cause. We don't think that's the case here. You would have other species effected not just drum," Harmon said.
Guambat's mother is a bit of a rebel-rouser, with major, well-earned gripes with the gas mining that's re-gerrymandering the countryside there. See, for instance here and here and here and here, and here, and here, etc.

So Guambat figured, at first glance, that this might have something to do with it, respectfully prejudicial son that he is. But maybe not, as far as that story revealed, anyway.


Then along comes the bird story, although Guambat is not sure which actually came first in time. Thousands of them. Surely that is related to the mining? Well, maybe yes, maybe no.

First Birds Fall, Now 100,000 Fish Dead in Arkansas
Thousands of dead fish have turned up in an Arkansas river just days after 3,000 birds mysteriously dropped dead from the sky, but authorities say the deaths are not related.

An estimated 100,000 dead drum fish are floating along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River and washing up on the river's banks near the town of Ozark in the northwestern part of the state.

The dead fish were discovered just after 3,000 red-wing blackbirds fell from the sky in the town of Beebe, more than 100 miles from the site of the dead fish. Officials, who tripled the early estimates of the number of dead birds, said the bird deaths may have been caused by lightning or by stress from fireworks and said they were unrelated to the fish kill.

Andrew Goodwin, the associate director of the University of Arkansas' Aquaculture and Fisheries Center, said he didn't believe the deaths were caused by pollutants. "It's unlikely to be a toxin," Goodwin told AOL News by phone today.

Goodwin said the area of the Arkansas River where the dead fish were found is not known to be particularly contaminated. He said it would take a few weeks for researchers to determine exactly what killed the fish.

Instead, Goodwin said he suspected that the drum fish may have experienced a population boom this summer that created more competition for food and sapped the weaker ones of their ability to fight off disease.

"It's your classic boom and bust," he said. "A group of fish will go into a population boom, and then they're competing for food, so they may not be in really good condition. Then during a cold snap the environment changes with the temperature, and their immune systems are compromised and can't always fight infection."
And then, like a Hitchcock tale, the woe began to spread.

Massive Fish Kill in the Chesapeake Bay; Is American Wildlife Cursed?

dead fish in Maryland, Brazil and New Zealand

Louisiana has mass bird deaths just days after Arkansas
In Louisiana, the birds died sometime late Sunday or early Monday in the rural Pointe Coupee Parish community of Labarre, about 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. The birds — a mixed flock of red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings — may have hit a power line or vehicles in the dark, LaCour said. Two dozen of them had head, neck, beak or back injuries.

About 50 dead birds were near a power line 30 or 40 feet from Louisiana Highway 1. About a quarter-mile away, a second group of 400 or more stretched from the power line and across the highway, he said.
It was about here that Guambat, despite the tragedy to his fellow critters, started to become amused by it all. Others were amused, too, so it seems:

When Will The Birdpocolypse Hit New York?
Let's not wait until 100,000 pigeons fall dead on some precious Williamsburg rooftop garden—it's time to build a bubble over the city
Guambat is amused because, in the first place, human-kind has not been real good, but is improving, in ferreting out causation from startlingly and apparently unique events. For instance, from a story cited above are these hypotheses:
Mass bird deaths aren't uncommon. The U.S. Geological Service's website listed about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12. There were five deaths of at least 1,000 birds, with the largest near Houston, Minn., where parasite infestations killed about 4,000 water birds between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26.

In 1999, several thousand grackles fell from the sky and staggered about before dying in north Louisiana. It took five months to get the diagnosis: an E. coli infection of the air sacs in their skulls.

Dan Cristol, a biology professor and co-founder of the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies at the College of William & Mary, said the Louisiana birds may have been ill or startled from their roost, then hit the power line. "They don't hit a power line for no reason," he said.

Cristol was skeptical of the fireworks theory, unless "somebody blew something into the roost, literally blowing the birds into the sky."

Some speculated that bad weather was to blame.

Others said one confused bird could have led the group in a fatal plunge.

A few spooked schoolkids guessed the birds committed mass suicide.

Officials acknowledged, though, they may never know exactly what caused the large number of deaths.
Another story provides these clues:
Officials were still collecting bodies in Louisiana but have already examined those from the incident in Arkansas. They concluded that the birds had suffered internal trauma. That could have happened if a single flock had suddenly got caught in a violent and unusual storm.

Or, it has been speculated, a local fireworks display could have startled the birds so badly that they were unable to prevent themselves from flying into trees, pylons and houses.

"Mass bird die-offs can be caused by starvation, storms, disease, pesticide, collision with man-made structures or human disturbance ... Initial findings indicate that these are isolated incidents that were probably caused by disturbance and disorientation," Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation at the Audubon Society, said.
But, it seems the path of least resistance in human "reasoning" leans to conspiracy theories, as in the following story:
There is speculation in some corners that perhaps some sort of government testing might be responsible for the sudden deaths of 2,000 to 3,000 red-winged blackbirds in a small Arkansas town on New Year’s Eve.

The knowledge that electromagnetic scalar weapons can manipulate the environment and cause such catastrophic events is leading some to speculate that perhaps the government or a terrorist group could actually be behind the strange phenomenon.

Defense Secretary William Cohen stated in 1997 that the government was aware of eco-type terrorism involving the ability to alter the climate through means such as electromagnetic waves.
While human-kind's track record in finding causation is improving, it is still muddled by coincidence and, as noted, paranoia. Indeed, most genesis tales from around the world are grounded in anecdote, fear and coincidence. Most superstition and other religion stems from it, too. That's the part that has made the story more merry than amusing to Guambat.

Here's a taste of how this story has gone off the deep end, sometimes tongue in cheek, sometimes foot in mouth.

Solar eclipse 2011 and dead birds and fish in Arkansas not good omen

Dead birds and fish: Bible prophecy Web searches explode
The incidents have prompted Christian sects to look to the Bible and, most importantly, to the sky, for more alleged signs of apocalyptic happenings.

While no one person, not even self-proclaimed prophets, know if God of the Christian Bible is now ushering mankind into the End Times, many believe this week’s dead birds and fish are a sign the Great Tribulation talked about in the book of Revelation and Daniel is fast approaching.

As soon as reports of the 4,000 dead birds in Arkansas hit the Web, Saturday, forums were littered with prophecy comments.

The discussion is now on for those stating that the Seventh Seal has been opened and others who are predicting widespread pestilence in coming weeks.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 4, forum moderators and preachers have been busy answering questions about whether God has finally revealed that the return of Jesus Christ will be sooner that many believers think.
Bible Prophecy? Arkansas' dead birds and dead fish prompt massive Internet search for confirmation of apocalypse and the end times
Today, news of Arkansas' dead red-wing blackbirds and dead fish prompted an Internet firestorm of people doing massive searches relating the dead birds and dead fish to the apocalypse and/or the end times. The article on GodDiscussion received more than 15, 817 views in 18 hours on this topic, with search terms including "dead birds Bible," "dead birds dead fish revelation," among other similar apocalyptic search terms, and the apocalyptic search terms for this article is still going strong at this hour.

There were many comments about "biblical prophecy" coming true with dead birds falling from the sky, the dead birds being related to the seventh seal of Revelation (one suggested the sixth seal), and upon looking, neither the sixth or seventh seals mention anything about dead birds or dead fish. In fact, upon consulting Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, research using "birds" "fish," "dead birds," and "dead fish" turned up zero Biblical references. Hosea 4:3 was the closest the research turned up, and was brought up by one commenter. However, this verse talks about the whoring of Israel and the unfaithfulness of the priests of Israel and the people of Israel. It is not talking about end times, or anything having to do with the apocalypse.

Today's massive reaction to the dead birds and dead fish article reminds us of the Pew Research Forum study where 41% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ will return by the year 2050....
Guambat, ever the obedient son, reckons it must be the gas mining. Or the gas vapors.


MORE:

Swedish birds 'scared to death': veterinarian
A county veterinarian has speculated that the birds that fell from the sky in central Sweden on Tuesday may have been frightened by fireworks, then run over by a car after landing on the road in the dark.

Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, residents found 50 to 100 jackdaws on a street in Falköping southeast of Skövde. The incident echoed a number of unexplained incidents earlier this week across the southern US.

County veterinarian Robert ter Horst believes that the birds may have been literally scared to death by fireworks set off on Tuesday night.

"We have received information from local residents last night. Our main theory is that the birds were scared away because of the fireworks and landed on the road, but couldn't fly away from the stress and were hit by a car," he explained to The Local on Wednesday.

ter Horst noted that he has also received some reports about pigeons, but the incident has happened too quickly to assume that it is related to the untimely demise of the jackdaws.

Dead Birds and Nostradamus predictions: dead birds found in three states
Nostradamus writes:

“A great stench will come from Lausanne, but they will not know its origin, they will put out all people from distant places, fire seen in the sky, a foreign nation defeated.”

This is from the website Occult view, who makes the case that the dead birds and dead fish would cause a stench, the fire in the sky could be the solar eclipse that happened today. He also points out that Lausanne was what the area of Arkansas and Louisiana before it was part of the US. In the mid 1600’s a French explorer, Rene-Robert Cavelier named this territory Lausanne, in honor of King Louis XIV of France.

Another writing of Nostradamus:

"The Antichrist will be the infernal prince again for the third and last time….so many evils shall be committed by the means of Satan, the infernal Prince, that almost the entire world shall be found undone and desolate. Before these events happen, many rare birds will cry in the air, “Now! Now”! and sometime later will vanish."

This is discussed on the website Hogue Prophecy. Hogue discussed this after the same type of dead bird phenomenon occurred in Coxley Somerset, England. The same thing happened with starlings that just fell from the sky and had all kinds of injury because of this. Broken beaks, wings and bloodied bodies is what was found with this mass of dead birds in England. The authorities never found out how they died, just that they may have been scared.

Hogue also says that the Romans looked to the birds as messages from the Gods.

Occult View also “finds it curious” that the day of the solar eclipse visible over Europe on January 4th, a 7.0 earthquake on January 1st in Chile, a 7.1 earthquake in Argentina on January 2nd, with dead birds falling from the sky in between all this could be an odd coincidence.

5,000 Dead Birds Fall From the Sky: Let’s Go With the Simplest Explanation
But the mystery of the events is still alluring to us, and I think that’s because when something unsettling or strange happens, our brains start to make connections where there are none, and look for evidence to support our more far-fetched, less reality-based conclusions — ignoring the simple, straightforward explanations.

That’s why another 500 dead birds in Louisiana might tomorrow be followed up with a finding of 300 dead butterflies, or a squirrel plague striking somewhere else in the south. Now that our red flags are up, we’re on the look out for other strangeness to occur — strangeness that would have otherwise flown under our radar.

And unless a nature expert really gives me reason to think otherwise, I’ll stick to the conclusion that the events of the last few days are astoundingly coincidental, rare, sad, and completely unconnected.


OK, HOPEFULLY THIS IS THE LAST OF IT:

Indigestion, Magnetic North swing, and Nine Incidents Beginning to Sound Like the Partridge In A Pear Tree Litany:
turtle doves falling dead in Italy with strange blue stain on their beaks

Thousands of dead turtle doves that rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town were victims of their on greed, an expert claimed today.

Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like 'little Christmas balls' with strange blue stains on their beaks.

The birds have been found by residents in the village for the last three days and they alerted authorities after hearing reports of the incident at Faenza.

Initial tests on up to 1,000 of the doves from Faezna indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.

Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, is known to cause confusion and illness in animals. It is also a common precursor to altitude sickness.

Official results on the Italian birds are due tomorrow, but Rodolfo Ridolfi, a director at the regional zoological institute, said:'We are fairly confident the birds died as a result of massive indigestion brought on by over-eating.

The incident is the latest mass animal death to hit the headlines in the last two weeks.

These include:

* 450 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings found littering a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
* 3,000 blackbirds on roofs and roads in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas
* Thousands of 'devil crabs' washed up along the Kent coast near Thanet
* Thousands of drum fish washed along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River
* Two million small fish in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
* Thousands of dead fish found floating in warm Florida creek
* Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand
* Scores of American Coots found dead on Texas highway bridge

Another theory is that the rapid movement of the Magnetic North Pole towards Russia may have affected the birds' innate navigation systems.

Scientists have said the Magnetic North Pole is shifting at an average of around 25 miles a year.

With birds and fish relying on it to travel to breeding grounds and warmed climes, there are fears that the shifting pole could be confusing the animals which means they do not migrate in time to avoid cold weather.

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