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Posted at 3:34 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Dead birds, dead fish, dead crabs turn up all over the world: Signs of the Aflockalypse?

By Melissa Bell
Hundreds of dead birds lie along the side of the Morganza Highway on Monday in Pointe Coupee Parish, La., about 300 miles south of Beebe, Ark., where more than 3,000 blackbirds fell from the sky three days earlier. (The Advocate, Liz Condo/AP)

This post has been updated.

Dozens dead in Sweden, hundreds washed ashore in New Zealand. Is the world witnessing the end of days or is this just a case of coincidence fueled by wild speculation?

Ever since residents of Beebe, Ark., woke up on New Year's Day to thousands of blackbirds that had dropped mysteriously from the sky, other sudden animal deaths have been reported furiously around the world. In a nearby Arkansas town, thousands of fish washed ashore on Monday. On Tuesday, another 500 blackbirds were found dead in Baton Rouge, La.

Then the story went international. Sweden reported dozens of birds falling out of the sky and New Zealand reported hundreds of dead snapper washing ashore. The Chesapeake Bay has 2 million fish estimated dead. Around 40,000 crabs died on the coast of Kent in Britain.

Dr. Mike, a reader at BlogPost, writes that dead fish have also floated up on the Haiti/Dominican Republic border and in Sydney, Brazil and Wales.

Does this mean the Christian group spreading the word that the end is nigh -- very, very nigh -- is correct? The group's date for Judgment Day: May 21, 2011.

Conspiracy theorists start your engines. Only, first a word of caution:

It seems sudden bird deaths occur more often than one would think. About 500 million to 1 billion birds are killed every year and mass deaths have been noted about 16 times in the past 20 years, the PBS NewsHour reports.

Rather than a divine sign, the cause could be human: fireworks scaring the birds, toxic chemicals killing the fish or powerlines tangling up the birds. There are also reports that some of the deaths could be natural: The Chesapeake Bay carnage might be due to "cold-weather stress," NPR reports. Or the bird deaths could be related to the avian flu recently reported in Japan, as reader Bob worries (Reader Nashvillain suggests everyone go get their flu shot now).

Or is it a self-fulfilling prophecy: when one news report about dead birds becomes big news, a few dead birds anywhere in the world becomes big news.

Or is it? How about some guesses as to the real cause? The Post's Alexandra Petri offers up her opinion: "Angry Birds turns out to be a horrific, Enders Game-esque trick with sobering real-world consequences."

What's yours? Why are the animals dying?

In totally tangentially related bird death news: read about the recent discovery of Yale University paleontologists that ancient birds clobbered each other with clubbed wings.

(Thanks, Chris!)

By Melissa Bell  | January 5, 2011; 3:34 PM ET
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Do blackbirds fly at night? They were probably resting on a high tension wires and there was a high VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SURGE.

Just a guess!

Posted by: ChicagoBob | January 5, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Mutant strain of avian flu is my guess. If you haven't yet gotten your flu shot, now might be a good time....

Posted by: Nashvillain | January 5, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

No, face it buddy, it's the Aflockolipse!!! Were all going to die!

Posted by: FlockYou | January 5, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I know "they" say that this has happened before but I have never seen anything quite like it. Seems to me like maybe some experiment is going on. Just seems too ironic that all of the same kind of fish, and then the same birds as well, all at the same time? Come on? There either has to be a scientific reason for it or some experiment.Or lets just go all out and say hey is there some kind of Alien Invasion thing going on here?

Posted by: kya2zoey | January 5, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

But the birds' injuries aren't consistent with flu, fireworks-startling, nor entanglement. It also doesn't make sense that they would go for months without getting entangled in power lines, suddenly all hit power lines, and then go back to not hitting power lines.

The power line surge theory is interesting, but the necropsies so far have not found burns or seared feathers, etc.

Most importantly, neither fireworks nor power lines account for the species-specific deaths (blackbird family only).

This grisly document describes injuries from electricity; it states, "The primary electrical injury is burns."

Posted by: shigley | January 5, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

But the birds' injuries aren't consistent with flu, fireworks-startling, nor entanglement. It also doesn't make sense that they would go for months without getting entangled in power lines, suddenly all hit power lines, and then go back to not hitting power lines.

The power line surge theory is interesting, but the necropsies so far have not found burns or seared feathers, etc.

Most importantly, neither fireworks nor power lines account for the species-specific deaths (blackbird family only).

This rather graphic document describes injuries from electricity; it states, "The primary electrical injury is burns."

Posted by: shigley | January 5, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This article resummarizes what other articles have been saying since the first of the month, and fails to produce any new rationale. There are several legitimate pre-established explanations including high-altitude hail storms, and important factors such most of the dying fish are the same species (in their respective areas).

Posted by: cwoodardsjunkmail | January 5, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Strange. I hope it's not HAARP or some kind of weather control sabatoge. I don't believe it's fireworks as some headlines have suggested.
This morning I read how a river in Canada turned bright green.

Posted by: sosheseeks | January 5, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If your leaders say to you the Kingdom is in the sky then the birds of the air will proceed you. If your leaders say to you that the Kingdom is in the Sea then the fish will proceed you. Rather the Kingdom is in Saudia Arabia because they have oil and tremendous gold reserves ? Think about it,,, or not...

Posted by: MarcusOne | January 5, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I think it is stress that has caused the birds to die off. as for the fish I have seen something very simular happen. In what i have seen happen is in A lake Called clear lake in California, every so often the lake gets too much algae in it then shortly after that there is a massive die off of carp. I wonder if same thing is happening with the fish dieing off or if they are dieing from a yet to be diagnosed disease?

Posted by: hermitcrabsrus49 | January 5, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

CIA death ray.

Posted by: jimward21 | January 5, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Check out the location of the Russelville AR nuclear power plant and proximity to Beebe and Ozark area (the locations of the dead birds and fish in AR) & down the Arkansas River to LA. This should be checked into.

Posted by: concerned68 | January 5, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I've never heard of a whole flock dying simultaneously. If that's so usual, how come this is the first time it's making the news? I don't think it's God; I know it is.

Posted by: forgetthis | January 5, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

But let me add that when one part of our ecosystem is threatened, we all are. And I think that if man is destroying the ecosystem, nature will give us signs. I'm not a religious wacko, but I think it's all spiritual in origin either way you look at it.

Posted by: forgetthis | January 5, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This is a sure sign from God. When birds and fish begin to die that is due to lack of oxygen in our deep seas and in our skies. Black birds in bundles mean death, and so I feel this is a warning to those that live in those areas affected by this event. Believe or not believe, but look up the meaning of black birds and fish in the Bible during these turn of events. One would think that a warning could not be any clearer...

Posted by: cinner1 | January 5, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I strongly believe that sum gamma ray burst is the real cause of all this.

Posted by: hs31 | January 5, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I strongly believe that sun gamma ray burst is the real cause of all this.

Posted by: hs31 | January 5, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Is the world witnessing the end of days...." Is the WaPo,infamous for agnostic fence setting, while giving a section here and there to those of faith, actually conceding there is such a thing as an end of days? Even if it is not, I pray that many of you return to Sunday services rather than self indulgences and remember Him who holds all life in his hand.

Posted by: jfregus | January 5, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Just use common sense folks! Have you ever in your lifetime heard of this many birds, and fish dying at the same time? The answer is NO... Remember even when the Antichrist appears their will be thousands of people saying, he is not a bad guy a monster! He is a man of peace. The bible says that he {the antichrist} will be a man of great peace, and destroy many by means of peace! We are in the end days... Do your homework folks! You can find many end time signs and prophecy's here on my website in My Life Story

Posted by: Brokerage | January 5, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Might this have something to do with solar activity(MCE)? If this is this is occurring due to some experiment gone dreadfully wrong then we need to change what we're doing on every level. I mean strict penalties for company's who chose waste,pollute and destroy our very fragile ecology. And I don't mean fines. Somebody's not telling us something. This anomaly seems to be happening worldwide. The unknown is scarier than the truth.

Posted by: ShaneBlack | January 5, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

For those of you out there who are looking towards the evangelicals for answers...Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who find it.

Posted by: ShaneBlack | January 5, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

What does getting a flu shot have to do with this? There is no vaccine for avian flu!

Posted by: balletmom76 | January 5, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This is the first article that has reference the tie of all of these happenings possible connected - funny, and I am being sarcastic, that these instances of dead fish, birds, are happening in countries all around the world at the same time. Something is wrong??? Is this a biological experiment gone wrong -??? A bird's lung and fish's lung are highly vunerable - maybe something was released in the sky - or water - birds eat fish??? Who knows - I probably won't eat fish or poultry for awhile.

Posted by: Theresa7 | January 5, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It's the internet - now we get all info from all over the world.


Posted by: scottdd1 | January 5, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

France and Germany have banned clothianidin, a product of Bayer CropScience. German tests on dead bees have shown that 99 percent of the ones examined had a high level of Clothianidin in their system. The chemical sold under the name "Poncho" by Bayer AG in Germany. It's used as a pesticide for sweet corn and rapeseeds.

Our EPA is focusing solely on CO2, while allowing the German aspirin maker to kill off American honey bees. Our EPA also allowed BP to use the toxic dispersant Corexit in the Gulf.

Our EPA admits that Clothianidin's major risk concern is honey bees. It is both persistent and systemic and is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis.

It appears our EPA is okay with the killing off of honey bees in the United States. The EPA is not concerned with pollination and our food supply. What are a few blackbirds?

Posted by: alance | January 5, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

God smiting us as the repuglicans take over and push us into more wars.

Posted by: WmLaney | January 5, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or has anyone noticed that most all of the bird and fish occurrences have happened close to major fault lines. Could this be due to possible earthquakes in the making that are releasing some sort of gases that affect sensitive animals? I have looked around and notice that there has been some sort of seismic activity close to all of the events that have taken place

Posted by: khenley71 | January 5, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't anyone come forth saying, "Hey, a bird hit me in the head!"...Are these birds only dying at night?

If a bird dies and no one is around...does it still make a sound (as it hits the ground)...

Posted by: flyblackchickdotcom | January 5, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The dead fish washed ashore. The birds were pecking food from the shore. The birds (all being the same relative size and weight) would begin to feel the effects of what killed the fish at the same relative time and the birds then fell from the sky.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | January 5, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

My wife feeds the birds in our town which is a designated bird sanctuary. A few years ago the spring migrating Baltimore Orioles that my wife looked forward to seeing each year were all found dead in our park...a vile example of human exrement that did not want the birds pooping on his new 500 hp pick-up truck that he used to prove his manliness and go for beer and cigarettes at the 7-11, poisoned them all along with many other birds...the Orioles have never returned to our feeder and I suspect are not missed by anyone but us...I strongly suspect some kind of poisoning for the red-winged blackbirds and would look for poisoned seed or industrial evidence like we found and had tested that proved deliberate poisoning....

Posted by: 123Njord | January 5, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Clearly this has been caused by the proliferation of so-called professional wrestling. The creator is punishing us!

Posted by: veritasinmedium | January 5, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It´s obviously the fault of the Muslim, terrorist, socialist, Marxist, liberal Obama.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 5, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse the way, why were no dying birds observed just dead birds...that is a big clue that something is not altogether right, even lightening or some her deadly natural phenomenon would not kill all of them but leave some maimed but still alive...

Posted by: 123Njord | January 5, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

There were injured, living birds in Louisiana. Some were reported to have been impossible to trap as they ran so quickly.

The hype is bad enough without people making points based on ignorance of the facts.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | January 5, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I say it's Global warming. We need to transfer $100 billions to the South immediately.

Posted by: isocrate27 | January 5, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

As the ancients did with the rising sun, we see god in that which we cannot explain.

Posted by: stevie7 | January 5, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Read The BIBLE!! These are signs along with other world events it all adds up to the TRUTH! AND...will we ever know??? This will just be covered up and we will allow it over and over again!! Whatever happened to IN GOD WE TRUST and WE THE PEOPLE? Lord forgive them!

Posted by: lizzysweeton | January 5, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

i've read elsewhere that 'fracking' may be the culprit.

•Hydraulic fracturing is a process that results in the creation of fractures in rocks. Hydraulic fractures may be natural or man-made and are extended by internal fluid pressure which opens the fracture and causes it to grow into the rock.--Wikipedia definition.

Posted by: bboop25 | January 5, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think this (or something(s) similar) is what's doing it:
And I think its going to get much, much worse.

Posted by: Logan7032 | January 5, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Just make sure before "The End" you run out and stock up on milk and toiletpaper.

Posted by: KAS2 | January 5, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Just make sure before "The End" you run out and stock up on milk and toiletpaper.
Posted by: KAS2

And given the birds that are dropping like flies, stocking up on eggs isn't a bad idea either.

Posted by: stevie7 | January 5, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Is it a coincidence that Snooki's book was published right at the same time that all of these birds are dying? I think not.

Posted by: kbockl | January 5, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Fear Not! I believe it will be YOU who will be needing those items and that there may be a very warm place waiting for you...

Posted by: lizzysweeton | January 5, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think it is the delayed after effect from the Oil spill!!

Posted by: lindajoycemc | January 5, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Fear Not! I believe it will be YOU who will be needing those items and that there may be a very warm place waiting for you...

Posted by: lizzysweeton


I should think everyone, at least in a modern western society needs toilet paper. And yes, global warming would suggest that a warm place does await...

Posted by: stevie7 | January 5, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

This blog doesn't mention that the worldwide bird population is around 100 BILLION BIRDS. The problem is everyone everywhere has a cell phone camera and they have a need to share everything they see with everyone. Without any perspective 1 billion dead birds sounds like a lot, but it really isn't compared to the total and the reproduction rates.

Posted by: joepah | January 5, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think it's time Hollywood remade "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock. It's clear they are up to no good.

Posted by: clemens177 | January 5, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I have not yet read everyone's comments, but I would like to point out that toxins in the water would've killed all the fish, not just drum fish in arkansas, carp in New Jersey, so on so forth. And fireworks, electrical storms, and powerlines wouldn't have claimed JUST the lives of black birds. While I will not say the apocolypse is upon us (no woman or man knows when that will happen, and I certainly dont claim to,) I do think something very wrong is happening here. And blaming it on the oil spill or on the earthquake in haiti isnt plausible for the same reasons stated above. Nature singles nothing out. Were this delayed effects of those events, it would be affecting all animals. Not just certain species.

One more thing I must comment on, ShaneBlack, I agree whole-heartedly with your statement. Those who claim to know the truth are the ones you should be most distrusting of.

Posted by: Wyntere | January 5, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten about the greatest ecological disaster in human history. The Gulf Oil spill spewed enough oil to kill the whole planet. Everything is connected from ocean currents and rivers to migration routes. Birds migrate. Birds eat little fish, etc. Ocean currents carry contaminates to every part of the globe. My theory is this is all connected to the oil spill. If its the end of the world, its only because people were to stupid to take care of the planet God gave us.

Posted by: jwfrost | January 5, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

a comprehensive list of animal deaths en masse since new years' brings the count to 15+ incidents:

Posted by: mmatt | January 6, 2011 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I would have to agree with jwfrost. The chemical dropped into the Gulf is called Corexit. Do a little research on effects of this chemical especially when mixed with oil. Jet stream and ocean current could have spread this to the areas now effected. The same chemical was also used in Alaska's oil spill and had significant effects. However, the approx. 2 millions of gallons dumped of Corexit each day during the Gulf oil spill significantly dwarfs the amount used for the Alaska disaster.
At this stage, there's no way for the general public to know for sure, but at least it presents a better idea than "fireworks" or completely "normal" behavior. ;)

Posted by: justanonymous | January 6, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Do we really want to know the truth? can we really handle the truth? would we even believe the truth if it hit us in the face?
Watch the movie (v for vandetta).
is it so hard to think the oil spill was a convenient accident for obamas agenda there will be five dollar a gallon gasolene problem for no reason other than George Soros and his lap dog Omummer.
The missle off Califagnia coast was another hype that people were told was a weather experiment,or some crap,and the foolish mind of most people can not face the fact we SHOULD be watching and hearing the conspiracy theories,because now is the perfect time for the anti_Christ movement with Obummer in charge,to unleqash hell on every decent person on earth,as well as the moron mental cases that support him.
Get your crap together,keep all your marbles in sight,and hope you can be one of the few to survive what these traitors are planning for AMERICANS.

Posted by: silusdogood | January 6, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse


If you want to know why this is happening, send an email to


Posted by: eddie1814 | January 6, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

i know most people dont want to hear it but the bible and myan calendar both say that that was going to happen this is the start of the end all you can do is be good to your family and the ones you love because soon it will be all over 2012 is all to real

Posted by: kimberly_diamond | January 6, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

No one has thought that oxygen deprivation could be the cause in the ozone and water. Lack of oxygen can cause birds to blackout and possible clots can form in their bodies. Damage to the birds come from hitting objects after they become dillusional. When you deprive water of oxygen fish can die off. Could oxygen be weaker in some areas of our atmosphere than others? Obviously we would feel effects of this too at some point. Are there tests that can be run to observe oxygen levels in the air around us?

Posted by: Tesdreams | January 6, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Another reason the massive kill of fish and birds might be happening is that during bad weather, local power companies seed the clouds with silver iodide which is highly toxic to fish and birds.

I would like to hear other comments regarding this.


Posted by: maiwest | January 6, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the government is experimenting with HARP. Look it up, it fits everything. We are probably next

Posted by: cresseddy | January 6, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Im a 14 year old girl, who is so scared to die, i know what is going on with th birds & fish, but i dont know what to belive what is causeing it, so somone really needs to find out soon so we can all try to fix it.

Posted by: haleydenise | January 6, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the final summation on this, Ms. Bell should receive a major award for "aflockalypse"--best new coinage since the 1970s ("yuppies").

Posted by: friedman1 | January 6, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I believe the mass death of birds, fish, etc. are warning signs for human to wake up to change the way of our living and how we treat our mother Earth. Human has abused Earth to her limits that our Earth has pains and sufferings everywhere. Animals, such as birds are more sensitive and delicate to environmental changes than human, so they are first affected from our environmental crisis. What's next? it could be human who are the causer of dramatic climate crisis facing us now. Among all creation of God, human are the only species generating massive trash and disposable garbages, human are one of the most cruelest creatures who eat flesh of other animal beings, human cut 70% Amazon rain forest for animal grazing for human food, and feed 70% natural food to animals for meat causing starvation worldwide, human focus on short term profits and chase after materialism, how could we not bear serious consequences if we don't learn to live harmonically with Nature or our mother Earth. Wake up, human!

Posted by: LoveEarth | January 7, 2011 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Are the christians causing this? Hiring people to strategically kill certain animals to fulfill their agenda? Could be! Is it Monsanto? Could be. What about government experiments? Could be!

Posted by: DeleneSC | January 7, 2011 3:31 AM | Report abuse

I believe it's chemical dispersant used in the British Petroleum Gulf of Mexico oil spill ...think of weather and moisture evaporating from the oceans to the clouds ...our atmosphere can carry the poison anywhere across the globe ...then simply rain and effect other waterways and land. I think the investigation should test for exactly that and if it's true ...bill then ban BP from operating on any US territory.

Posted by: curtrock | January 7, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

dont panic matt.24 all good.this is not plauges from god as of yet .jesus said all this will happen .why man has ruin the earth..sure the governments will blow this off because they are of satan.babylon the great. storeing food wont help you .only turning back to god jehovah .it is his name look it up joel 2 32 who ever calls upon the name of jehovah will be save .it like the days of noah... take the warning.dont blow it off ...

Posted by: babyred | January 7, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

5 years there wont be any birds flying around because the have CHIRPES..... AND ITS UN TWEETABLE

Posted by: aaron1964 | January 8, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that this article mainly focuses on the bird deaths, and not so much the fish or crabs.
"It seems sudden bird deaths occur more often than one would think." Okay, so are mass fish and crab deaths common too?

I do think that it is probably caused by humans or even a drastic change/fluctuation of weather patters. Not a divine being giving us a little clue that the world is soon ending.

Posted by: kristen1989 | January 8, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Make love and be happy. The human experience is a great thing!

Posted by: Flyingsiple | January 8, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

The birds all reflected blunt force trauma. They may have flown into the ground at full speed. Disorientation will happen in birds in the night. But for so many is quite unusual. Not sure what this all means but it does raise concerns. Fish? Not sure what that is all about. May be time to leave the city.

Posted by: putz1 | January 8, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Well it says dye offs are 16 in 20 years!!! ahh hello, 10 dye offs have been in the last one year. Disrupts our whole food chain. Birds eat bugs and pest, we eat fish, fish eat plankton and so on and so on. I think its scarry.

Posted by: dreemn4u | January 8, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

This is simple folks.

Its from the BP oil spill.

The fish died from that, and the birds ate the fish and had a heart attack.

The media likes to downplay the effects of the oil spill, telling everyone its cleaned up when you know its not. Its going to leave a permanent mark, and its only a matter of time before we use up all our resources, kill off all the animals, and eventually we become extinct too. When so many people dont care about the earth, its going to be too little, too late.

Posted by: hambone008 | January 9, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ravenangel | January 9, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I think the people who are questionuing whether or not the BP oil spill has anything to do with these mass animal deaths are onto something. How do we get an honest answer? Doubthful that we will. Wish wikkileaks was more about revealing this kind of information.

Posted by: getaclue4 | January 10, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

In order to get to root of the issue one should observe other information and phenomena taking place during the same time.

What about a magnetic field distortion causing the mass death?

This is not a local phenomena, it is happening all around the Globe in the same time.

see >>

Posted by: ecoChoices | January 12, 2011 7:21 AM | Report abuse

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