As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Dead birds fall 'like raindrops' in Winnipeg's North End

Animal experts are trying to figure out what may have killed dozens of black birds that fell from the sky in Winnipeg's North End on Wednesday.

Conservation officers have picked up more than 50 dead birds near the intersection of King Street and Dufferin Avenue, while the Winnipeg Humane Society took in 11 birds that were still alive.

Erika Anseeuw, the humane society's director of animal health, said all the living birds were reasonably bright and active, although they cannot stand or fly.

The birds will be euthanized and sent to a pathology lab for autopsies.

Anseeuw would not speculate on what exactly may have killed the birds, but she suspects they may have accidentally gotten into something.

"My suspicion is this is what it's going to be rather than any kind of apocalyptic foretelling of birds falling from the sky," she said in an interview with CBC Radio's Up to Speed program.

Possible factors may include exposure to disease or toxins, Anseeuw said.
'Falling out of the trees'

People in the area told CBC News hundreds of black birds — possibly grackles — began flocking in a "bizarre manner" atop vehicles, in the trees and near businesses starting at around 7:30 or 8 a.m.

"There was probably, I would say … almost up to the thousand birds in the trees, and then I was looking up and then one fell right in front of me," said Tanya Lee Viner.

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