In the aftermath of what could be described as a scene similar to a horror movie, bird carcasses could be seen scattered across a street in Cuauhtémoc city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, reported local Spanish-language newspaper El Heraldo de Chihuahua.
The cause of the mass deaths, however, remains unclear.
The migratory birds had arrived from northern Canada to spend the winter in Mexico, but likely ended up being impacted from high levels of air pollution, which has hit the region lately due to an increase in wood-burning heaters, agrochemicals and low temperatures.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT— Reuters (@Reuters) February 14, 2022
Security footage shows a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds drop dead in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua pic.twitter.com/mR4Zhh979K
The incident happened on 7 February when a security camera filmed a huge black “cloud” of birds plunging downwards and hitting the roof of a building and a street pavement.
Several birds, however, survived the crash and appeared to lift off and take flight once more.
Residents who saw the birds lying on the street alerted the police.
Authorities are seeking help from zootechnical veterinarians to investigate the cause of the mass deaths.
It is preliminarily suspected that the birds could have died due to inhaling toxic smoke, maybe from a heater or they may have been electrocuted after standing on power lines.
The video of the incident has since gone viral and spooked social media users, some of whom have taken to baseless conspiracy theories, including suggesting the impact was the result of 5G technology or a mysterious electromagnetic field.
“It’s like those horror movies,” said a Twitter user.
Another user, without providing evidence for the claims, pointed to “magnetic field issues”.
“No their synchronized flight usually to confuse a falcon or some predator failed they were too close to the ground and buildings so they ran out of flying space to make a swift turn, some hit the ground some bumped into each other others broke wings,” another user said, in an attempt at an explanation.
This is, however, not a one-off incident. There have been several incidents of large numbers of migratory birds dropping dead around New Mexico, forcing scientists to study the cause triggering the mystery deaths.
Researchers are looking at possible reasons, including toxins inhaled by birds, smoke plumes altering migration routes, a recent cold snap and depletion of sources of food due to drought in the Southwest.
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