Pesticide causes birds to fall from sky

Aug. 15, 2012 at 1:13 PM
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MILLVILLE, N.J., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Authorities in New Jersey said the dozens of birds that fell from the sky were killed by a pesticide used legally on a nearby farm.

The Millville Police Department issued a reverse-911 call Tuesday warning residents to remain in their homes when dozens of birds began dropping from the sky in the morning. The Cumberland County Department of Health determined the birds had been killed by granular pesticide Avitrol Double Strength Corn Chops, which had been used by Ingraldi Farms in Millville, The News of Cumberland County reported Wednesday.

"A granular pesticide intended and approved to cull birds has been applied in your area, causing an unusually high volume of dead birds. Remember to keep children and pets away from dead animals," a second reverse-911 call by police said.

The pesticide is approved for control of blackbirds, Brewer's blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, red-winged black birds, rusty blackbirds, starlings and yellow-headed blackbirds. The health department said the farm was approved to use the pesticide after losing $15,000 in crops to the birds so far this year.

Ingraldi Farms declined to comment Tuesday.

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