Video Shows Hundreds of Birds Dropped Dead Onto a Sidewalk in Mexico, but Scientists Say There Is a Logical Explanation
A mysterious incident in Mexico has some social media users turning to conspiracy theories to explain its occurrence. On February 7, hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds fell from the sky all at once in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, prompting many locals to call the police.
Video footage of the event is shocking. A security camera recorded a wave of yellow-headed blackbirds dropping en masse in an unnatural-looking cloud of black. While many of the birds flew right back up again after hitting the ground, dozens of motionless bodies laid behind, dead.
The unsettling footage went viral, prompting tons of social media users to hypothesize many unusual reasons for the mass death.
“Serious question.. I wonder if that happened at exactly the same time as the Space X satellites fell out of orbit? Could be a solar storm issue effecting their inbuilt ‘radar’,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Those are chemtrails, very common in [Northern] mexican states,” wrote another. Others blamed the incident on everything from 5G to Earth’s shifting magnetic poles.
Initially, a newspaper in Chihuahua consulted a zootechnical veterinarian about the incident, who blamed the entire thing on a mixture of toxic smoke, pesticides and cold weather. The veterinarian also hypothesized that the birds could have been electrocuted after standing on a nearby power line.
But ecologist Dr. Richard Broughton, who works at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, told The Guardian that he was “99% sure” that the birds behaved this way because they were being chased by another predatory bird known as a raptor.
“This looks like a raptor like a peregrine or hawk has been chasing a flock, like they do with murmurating starlings, and they have crashed as the flock was forced low,” said Dr. Broughton. “You can see that they act like a wave at the beginning, as if they are being flushed from above.” The large amount of dead birds left behind was due to the force of the impact of hitting the ground.
Murmuration is a difficult phenomenon to describe, as there is no “leader” of the flock. Instead, birds act almost as a hive-mind, copying the actions of their closest neighbors, while their closest neighbors do the same. But the actual mechanics of murmuration continues to stump scientists. It’s still a mystery of nature.
This isn’t the first time that hundreds of birds died en masse, seemingly inexplicably. In 2019, 225 starlings were found dead on a road in Wales, prompting internet users to proclaim that the incident was a sign of the apocalypse.
Considering the unparalleled rise of conspiracy-minded folks throughout the world and the already unprecedented time we’re living in now, it’s no wonder so many people jumped to the most terrifying and surreal conclusions about this unusual wildlife episode.
But we’re thankful there’s logical explanation to this one.