by Travis Walter Donovan
January 6, 2011
UPDATE 1: Hundreds and
possibly thousands of dead birds have reportedly fallen from
the sky in Italy.
UPDATE 2: Wildlife
officials say that even more previously unreported dead
birds were found in Kentucky last week.
Millions of dead fish surfaced
Maryland's Chesapeake Bay in the U.S., Tuesday, while similar
unexplained mass fish deaths occurred across the world in Brazil and
On Wednesday, 50 birds were found dead
street in Sweden. The news come after
recent reports of
massive bird and fish deaths days prior in Arkansas and
Baltimore Sun reports that an estimated 2 million fish were
found dead in the Chesapeake Bay, mostly adult spot with some
juvenile croakers in the mix, as well. Maryland Department of the
Environment spokesperson Dawn Stoltzfus says "cold-water stress" is
believed to be the culprit. She told The Sun that similar large
winter fish deaths were documented in 1976 and 1980.
ParanaOnline reports that 100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish
have washed up in Brazilian fishing towns since last Thursday. The
cause of the deaths is unknown, with an imbalance in the
environment, chemical pollution, or accidental release from a
fishing boat all suggested by local officials.
In New Zealand,
hundreds of dead snapper fish washed up on
Coromandel Peninsula beaches, many found with their eyes missing,
The New Zealand Herald reports. A Department of Conservation
official allegedly claims the fish were starving due to weather
While all three events are likely unrelated, they come after recent
reports of mysterious
dead birds falling from the sky in both
Arkansas and Louisiana.
Thousands of dead birds were found in Beebe,
Arkansas on New Year's Eve, and a few days later, around 500 of the
same species were found 300 miles south in Louisiana. A Kentucky
woman also reported finding dozens of dead birds scattered around
In the days prior to New Year's, nearly
100,000 fish surfaced in an Arkansas river 100 miles west of Beebe.
Officials are now saying that fireworks likely caused the
bird deaths, and
power lines may be to blame for the death of the
birds in Louisiana.
Some remain skeptical of the explanations.
Dan Cristol, a biology professor
and co-founder of the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior
Studies at the College of William & Mary, told the AP that he was
hesitant to believe fireworks were to blame unless,
"somebody blew something into the
roost, literally blowing the birds into the sky."
Wednesday, officials in Sweden reported
the finding of 50 dead birds on a street, suggesting that cold
weather or fireworks were the likely culprit.
Bird deaths and fish kills at smaller numbers aren't all that
uncommon, though the size and proximity of some of the recent events
have led people to allege their relation, though officials deny the
frequency of these wildlife deaths as being anything other than
In August of 2010,
tens of thousands of dead fish were reported
washing ashore in two separate occasions, 200 miles apart on the
While many of the animals are undergoing
tests that could take weeks to yield comprehensive results, some
officials attest that the true cause behind these mysterious deaths
may never fully be known.