Arkansas blackbird flock knocked from sky

Jan. 2, 2011 at 10:35 AM

BEEBE, Ark., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Wildlife experts in Arkansas believe high-altitude lightning or hail killed more than 1,000 blackbirds that literally fell from the sky on New Year's Eve.

The strange site occurred in the city of Beebe just before midnight as dead birds crashed to earth within a 1-square mile area of town.

"Shortly after I arrived there were still birds falling from the sky," said Arkansas Fish and Game Commission Officer Robby King.

The commission said in a written statement that an initial examination of the dead birds showed widespread evidence of physical trauma, which indicates the flock was struck by lightning or hail while in flight. There was no indication of poisoning.

The statement noted that such phenomenon was not particularly rare and has been reported in other parts of the world.

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