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“I can see where people are getting concerned because you have one in Louisiana and one in Arkansas. Bird die-offs are not uncommon, especially in Texas as large as it is where multiple of things could just happen. Birds, I won't say they are unhealthy but it doesn't take a lot to kill them,” said Jones
Wildlife officials said the death of about 35 birds during the weekend was likely caused by strong winds.
Greg Gutierrez, a Plainview animal control officer, said he received a call from the police department about a woman who saw a large group of dead grackles at around 10 a.m. Sunday.
“It was unusual,” said Gutierrez, who had been an animal control officer for the city for three years. “I hadn’t seen that many dead birds in an isolated area.”
Gutierrez disposed of the birds and notified local agencies including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
In light of the recent deaths of more than 1,000 blackbirds in Arkansas, the public awareness of wildlife deaths increased, and there have been more public reports, said Tom Harvey, a TPWD spokesperson.
After talking to Plainview animal control officers, the local game warden and witnesses, Capt. Bill Jones, the Lubbock district supervisor for TPWD, said strong winds reported in the area was probably the culprit.
It appeared the birds crashed to the ground after encountering winds of more than 60 mph last weekend, he said, and even though birds are used to flying, they are still very fragile.