Home > environment > Dead bird phenomena hits Northern California

Dead bird phenomena hits Northern California

A string of mass bird deaths that began on New Years in Arkansas and later hit Louisiana has struck again, this time in our neck of the woods.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that more than 100 dead birds were found south of Geyserville clustered on the ground off of Highway 101 on Saturday.  The birds had not been shot.

No cause has been found for the die-offs.

  1. Anon
    January 11, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Sarah Palin did it.

  2. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I think Sarah Palin caused it.

  3. jupe
    January 11, 2011 at 9:03 am
  4. January 11, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I read something back after this just started happening by some biology type folks that were saying these mass die offs happen fairly regularly with all sorts of species. They don’t know why they happen.

  5. Snow Bone
    January 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Palin is in actuality Satan and is killing whomever she likes.

  6. Plain Jane
    January 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Wish we had a modern day Rachel Carson to find out what is causing all these birds, fish and honey bees to die. They are much more than canaries in a mine, they are mandatory for human survival, as we know it.

  7. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Wasn’t Rachel Carson the one discredited by her doomsday book “Silent Spring”?

  8. Mitch
    January 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

    It’s been explained. Love the outfit, btw.

  9. Plain Jane
    January 11, 2011 at 9:49 am

    No, 9:31. Her book, Silent Spring, is credited with the banning of dangerous pesticides which would have caused “silent spring.” I supposed in your twisted mind a doctor who prescribes a pill to keep you from going nuts is discredited when you take it and don’t go nuts.

  10. Plain Jane
    January 11, 2011 at 9:51 am

    God is killing the birds because he hates gays and gays love birds?

  11. SNaFU
    January 11, 2011 at 10:01 am

    …..and she’s a blonde too!

  12. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

    EEEEEK! (and that is just referring to Mitch’s youtube posting). Actually, I think it was her outfit that caused mass confusion and death – bejeweled with boulders and colorblind mimicry of a cheetah or giraffe.

    But seriously, all that is going on in the world right now seems just a little dramatic. What if the Mayans were right?

  13. 454
    January 11, 2011 at 10:26 am

    9:38. love it and the outfit also.

  14. tra
    January 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

    “I supposed in your twisted mind a doctor who prescribes a pill to keep you from going nuts is discredited when you take it and don’t go nuts.”

    How would 9:31 know? The pills obviously aren’t working for 9:31.

  15. Plain Jane
    January 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Everyone knows those pills are just the means to make it easier for the gubament to brainwash us. If I was nuts I’d know it.

  16. not an orinthologist
    January 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Since this is a widespread phenomenon, i’d bet it’s some sort of bird disease. It is odd though how it kills an entire flock at the same time. I wouldn’t think that a disease would work that way.

  17. tra
    January 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

    “I wouldn’t think that a disease would work that way.”

    Disease seems unlikely. All the birds would have to have been infected simultaneously and taken exactly the same amount of time to succumb to the illness.

    Pesticides or some other environmental factor (which the birds could all be exposed to at the same moment) seem like more likely explanations.

  18. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

    tra – wouldn’t pesticides have to work the same way as disease – all infected at the same time and taken exactly the same amount of time to succumb?
    And, if these are starlings, then it is good news.

  19. Plain Jane
    January 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

    In Arkansas it was red winged black birds. The linked story doesn’t name the bird, just describes them, small with black and brown wings so not starlings, maybe sparrows?

  20. Ellin
    January 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

    What’s killing the bees is known; although the government has tried hard to cover it up…
    EPA allows use of known bee-toxic pesticide Good job EPA!!

  21. tra
    January 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

    11:21,

    Yes, but the simultaneous exposure to pesticides (as in crop dusting, or a flock of birds landing on and feeding on a field that has just been treated) just seems more likely to me than the idea that they all contracted a virus within the same ten minute period.

    I’m not saying it WAS pesticides, and I’m not ruling out the possibility that it could be some disease, I’m just saying that in my opinion some environmental factor that all the birds were exposed to simultaneously or within a very short time period, does seem more likely than disease, which generally spreads more gradually and progressively.

    I don’t claim to be an expert on this, just a casual commenter. I’m interested in what some of our local ‘ologists have to say about these events.

  22. Plain Jane
    January 11, 2011 at 11:59 am

    A benign explanation could be weather. I read somewhere the other day that bird deaths like this aren’t at all unusual. What is unusual about now is how fast and wide the news spreads. Who knows.

  23. tra
    January 11, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    That seems plausible, but I’d like to know more.

  24. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Is that what happened to the local progressives in office?

    No cause has been found for the die-offs.

  25. Anonymous
    January 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Biologists confirm that mass die-offs are not uncommon. However, most of the reported mass die-offs have a reasonable explanation (e.g. white nose syndrome that is currently decimating bat populations throughout the US). The three recent bird die-offs do not, at this point, seem to have a reasonable explanation.

  26. taxed
    January 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Ever hear about compound 1080? This is a pesticide still allowed to be used to kill squirrels and coyotes. It kills 7 times over. It is sometimes applied with a crop dusting plane or by individual baiting. I have seen it kill hundreds of birds at a time after the birds ingest seeds laced with the poison. Farmers and ranchers have used it for years with the help of county ag commission and the farm bureau. It is so powerful that when an animal eats the carcass of a poisoned animal it will die too. It usually takes a long time for the animals to die a painful death. Did the birds just fall out of the sky already dead? Anyone know?

  27. Queso Pendejo
    January 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Lightning.

  28. Oldphart
    January 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    It’s those fucking Republicans.

  29. FoxStudio
    January 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    The cause of the bird deaths in Arkansas appears to be idiots firing off professional-grade illegal fireworks near a roosting tree. The chest trauma was believed to be caused by the birds flying into various objects-cars, walls, fences. The number of dead birds compared to the size of the flock wasn’t actually all that big.

    A friend of mine, who is a retired professor of ecology from UC Davis, felt that this was a rational explanation. But, of course, not as much fun as space aliens or a guv’mint conspiracy.

    It does seem to be the case that what has increased is media coverage of these events, not the number of events themselves.

  30. pete
    January 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Fireworks should be banned. I watched the fireworks from the roof in Old Town one year and saw birds flying blindly between buildings and who knows what happened when they ran out of light from the explosions. Very sad.

  31. not an orinthologist
    January 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I seriously doubt fireworks caused what happened in Arkansas, Italy or in CA. The dead birds were spread across a large area. The fire work theory was used as an explanation on NPR last week. The theory is that fireworks from New Years scared the birds and they flushed from their nest and then proceeded to crash into buildings and trees. If this was the case then we wouldn’t we all have seen similar die offs before?

  32. January 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Well, supposedly there were witnesses. “We” may have seen similar die-offs, but if the media doesn’t cover it?
    It’s like a tree falling in the forest. If it’s not on the news, did it happen?

  33. birdBrain
    January 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Did you mean: ornithologist? (he said lovingly)

  34. Ordinary Oly
    January 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Contrails

  35. January 12, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Looks like they figured out what caused the deaths of the birds in Santa Rosa: MAN!!!
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110111/ARTICLES/110119891/1350?Title=Dead-bird-mystery-solved

  36. Plain Jane
    January 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Glad to hear it was starlings and not a native or endangered species, but most of all that poisons or environmental degradation wasn’t the cause since that could cause problems for other species as well. However, the proximity of the vineyards with all their pesticides and fungicides makes you wonder if they were a factor.

  37. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Ah, the vineyards are at fault – blunt force trama eyewitnessed?

    Response to Fred – Thank You. Do you think EIR’s will now change for the birds? Afterall, bait and switch the mindset of the birds with food for thought so they can be reduced in population by drivers of asphalt roads and steel belted radials.

    Too bad, I was going for the alien spacecraft’s emt pulses, lol.

    JL

  38. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

    taxed says:
    January 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm
    Ever hear about compound 1080? This is a pesticide still allowed to be used to kill squirrels and coyotes. It kills 7 times over. It is sometimes applied with a crop dusting plane or by individual baiting. I have seen it kill hundreds of birds at a time after the birds ingest seeds laced with the poison. Farmers and ranchers have used it for years with the help of county ag commission and the farm bureau. It is so powerful that when an animal eats the carcass of a poisoned animal it will die too. It usually takes a long time for the animals to die a painful death. Did the birds just fall out of the sky already dead? Anyone know?

    Response: if you have a link or article connecting the county ag commissioners office to assisting farmers in he way you describe, you’ll score points when others can read what you are explaining. It is true he State is nefarious, big time hypocrits. So, I can see a few extra boxcars linked on the tracks to county operations and standards.

    JL

  39. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 12, 2011 at 8:12 am

    2 times “he” = “the”.

    A DUFUS OOPS POR ME’!

    JL

  40. sara traphagen
    January 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

    It’s obviously aliens or cell phones. Most likely cell phones.

  41. Oldphart
    January 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Apparently it was a big truck.

  42. Anonymous
    January 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Truck struck. Necks broke.
    End of story, all she wrote.

  43. January 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I believe that birds which fly in huge flocks like this are taking their cues from a leader, kind of like the Blue Angels and if the leader screws up…..

  44. A-Nony-Mouse
    January 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I think it was a right wing reactionary broadcasting Glen Beck from a loudspeaker. If that wouldn’t do it, nothing would.

  45. Reinventing The Wheel
    January 14, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Without all the fear and favor in America’s newsrooms that protect advertising revenues, more Americans might know that we’re living amid the 6th largest extinction event in life’s history on Earth.

    According to a recent documentary aired on KEET TV, the current mass die-off of the world’s amphibians is being caused by a fungus that was discovered over 100 years ago…A fungus that has probably existed for many thousands of years.

    What is effecting life on Earth is the uncomfortable and under-reported extent that toxins permeate the food chain and their effects on immune systems.

    In his December, 2007, poem titled “Questionaire”, Wendell Berry asks:

    “How much poison are you willing to eat for the success of the free-market and global trade? Please name your preferred poisons.

    In the name of patriotism and the flag, how much of our beloved land are you willing to desecrate? Please list in the following spaces the mountains, rivers, towns, farms, you could most readily do without.

    State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hope, the energy sources, the kinds of security, for which you would kill a child. Name, please, the children whom you would be willing to kill.”

  46. Night Owl
    January 14, 2011 at 4:12 am

    You’re right you clever reinventing the wheel.
    Energy acquisition kills children, ergo we must end energy acquisition.

    Cars kill children, we must stop making all cars and get the cars already made off the road. Sports kill a few children every year, but many tens of thousands more get injured. We must end all sports programs for children.

    Do I even have to mention bicycles ? Stop all bicycles & get them out of society. How many news stories about children getting lost & dying while out hiking in the woods must we endure. We must not allow children in campgrounds & in the forests.

    In the name of the children, we can justify anything.

  47. Lodgepole
    January 14, 2011 at 8:36 am

    There doesn’t seem to be nearly as many geese this year as in recent years.

  48. Plain Jane
    January 14, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Owl, is it possible to weigh risk / benefit ratios and make intelligent choices without it all being black / white? Can we make riding bicycles safer rather than banning them? All or nothing is foolish. We didn’t have to ban baby cribs because some babies were strangled in some due to faulty design. We chose to require a change in design. We didn’t ban driving because some people drove drunk, we made drunk driving a crime. Reinventing was talking about these sorts of choices. Whether to use pesticides which are killing birds and bees or those which don’t seems an easy choice when you have the facts. If you think humanity can survive without other species, you might change your mind if have the facts about what they contribute to our survival – and not just to kill and eat.

  49. Anononymous
    January 14, 2011 at 11:51 am

    It seems to me that Night Owl was trying to make the point you are Plain Jane. A point that escapes Reinventing the Wheel.

  50. Plain Jane
    January 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Reinventing and I were making the same point. Owl was making the point that risk assessment and choosing less risky options was tantamount to banning which was a strawman argument. We evaluate risk and make choices constantly, often essentially unconsciously, but we don’t get to decide daily how much dioxin we want to eat or feed our children (or to plants and wildlife) because those decisions are made by those who create policy and profit from their use, so we make choices in elections for the people who will make the policy choices which we have to live (or die) with.

  51. January 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    There is a certain arrogance in the “Western” mindset. One scenario that exemplifies it for me is the doctors in Europe would not accept the Arabian practice of washing their hands and sterilizing instruments, until almost two hundred years after it was widely accepted in north Africa.
    During the plague years educated physicians believed water to be poison and wouldn’t even entertain any Moorish ideas about unseen pathogens. (though they probably referred to them as ‘evil Jins bringing torment’.

  52. Anonymous
    January 17, 2011 at 8:47 am

    The reason why beer, ale & wine were so popular in the American colonial era is because they were considered far safer than drinking water.

  53. RTW
    January 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Plain Jane, thanks for confronting the defenders of tyranny once again!

    “Have a problem with the air? Then stop breathing it”!

    So many idiots would change their tone if the truth were consistently reported in a real “community media”, the one that they mistakenly call a “liberal press”.

    As reported in his book “Exposed”, award winning investigative reporter Mark Shapiro reveals that China exports the exact same brand-name products to Europe as they do to the United states.

    However, thanks to Europes precautionary principles, their products lack known carcinogens and any untested ingredients before distribution to the public.

    Thanks to our cost-benefit principles, millions will needlessly consume poison to protect a “free-market” system.

    Not so “free”, is it?

  54. Plain Jane
    January 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    That seems to be one aspect of a “free market” that they don’t like to talk about, RTW. The real price in terms of not only tax payer subsidies; but environmental damage, health risks, etc. How can people make an informed and free choice without being told the real price they have to pay?

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