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Originally posted by jdmmade
I am seriously
gladsad that I found this LOL. Indeed, it is pretty nasty.
Red tides in the Gulf of Mexico are a result of high concentrations of Karenia brevis, a microscopic marine algae that occurs naturally but normally in lower concentrations. In high concentrations, its toxin paralyzes the central nervous system of fish so they cannot breathe. Dead fish wash up on Gulf of Mexico beaches. Dense concentrations appear as discolored water, often reddish in color. It is a natural phenomenon, but the exact cause or combination of factors that result in a red tide outbreak are unknown. Red tide causes economic harm and for this reason red tide outbreaks are carefully monitored. For example, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provides an up-to-date status report on the red tide in Florida. Texas also provides a current status report. Red tide is also potentially harmful to human health. Humans can become seriously ill from eating oysters and other shellfish contaminated with red tide toxin. The cause of red tides is controversial. Red tides occur off coasts all over the world and have occurred for thousands of years. Not all red tides have toxins or are harmful.
An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission press release issued on Jan. 1 indicated that "The blackbirds fell over a one-mile area in the city" and that 65 dead birds were collected for the purpose of sending them to the "Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis." As wildlife officials and the public waited for lab results, the Hitchcockesque mystery generated a lot of speculation as to what caused thousands of birds to fall from the sky.
Initially, Karen Rowe, an AGFC ornithologist, suggested that the "flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail," but, said Rowe, "a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin." The AGFC also indicated that "Another scenario may have been that New Year’s Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area may have startled the birds from their roost." In order to address the speculation that fireworks may have been a cause of the birds' deaths, this reporter asked Rowe, who is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and Bird Conservation Program Coordinator for the Wildlife Management Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, to describe how fireworks could cause the deaths of birds. Rowe learned from the Beebe police chief that "a series of large professional-type fireworks went off in the subdivision around 10 p.m. Apparently, they flushed the blackbirds from the roost. Observers said they saw the flocks of blackbirds flying through the subdivision about 15 minutes later and said the birds were flying just the same way they fly up high...in a flock all going the same direction." The distinction, however, is that the birds were "flying at roof top level," said Rowe. "Observers said that the birds started crashing into houses and other structures as well as cars, mailboxes and shrubbery. Some were stunned and others were dead." Rowe stated, "Necropsy results showed trauma on the breasts and heads, which is consistent with flying into objects rather than just falling to the ground." The results that Rowe referred to, according to a Jan. 3 press release issued by the AGFC, came from the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and showed "that red-winged blackbirds died from massive trauma on New Year’s Eve. The trauma was primarily in breast tissue, with blood clots in the body cavity and internal bleeding. All major organs were normal and the birds appeared to be healthy. Gizzards and stomachs of the birds were empty." Read more: digitaljournal.com...