Hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds appearing to fall from the sky, some dying, were mysteriously photographed in the northern Mexican city of Cuauhtemoc.
The cause of death remains unclear, but experts said it was likely the flock was “kicked out” from above by a predatory bird that swooped to the ground to hunt.
CCTV footage shows a flock of migratory birds descending into homes like a cloud of black smoke. Most of the birds managed to fly, but later footage shows the distinct black and yellow carcasses strewn across the city streets.
The accident occurred on the morning of February 7, according to local reports. Birds tend to breed further north, in the United States and Canada, and migrate south to spend the winter Mexico.
According to the local newspaper, El Heraldo de Chihuahua, which first mentioned In the story, a vet pointed out that the blame for the accident could lie in high levels of pollution, spurred on by the use of wood-burning heaters, agrochemicals and cold weather in the area. Another suggestion was that the birds were electrocuted while resting on power lines. there was speculation On social media that could be caused by 5G technology.
But Dr Richard Broughton, an ecologist at the UK’s Center for Environment and Hydrology, said that although he couldn’t see a bird of prey in the footage, he was 99% sure it was caused by a predator. A predator would have made the birds spin tightly and propelled them toward the ground, with higher birds forcing lower birds to collide with buildings or the ground.
“It looks like a bird of prey like a peregrine falcon or a peregrine falcon was chasing after a flock, as they do with the humming starlings, and it broke when the flock was forced down,” he said. “You can see that they are acting like a wave at first, as if they have been kicked out from above.”
Dr Alexander Less, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University, agrees. “For my part and from one video clip and there are no toxins, I still say the most likely reason is the flock’s grumbling to avoid a predatory bird of prey and hitting the ground,” he said.
“There seems to always be a quick response to blame environmental pollutants, but collisions with infrastructure are very common. In a tightly packed flock, birds follow the movements of the bird in the foreground rather than interpreting their wider surroundings, so it is not unexpected that such events occur occasionally.” .
225 starlings died in Anglesey in December 2019 Find out later Due to their diving into the tarmac, perhaps after being chased by a predatory bird and failing to stand up in time.