Posted: Friday, August 29, 2014 11:07 am | Updated: 12:00 pm, Fri Aug 29, 2014.
The mystery of the hundreds of dead birds found in eastern Lancaster County the night after a violent storm on July 27 has been solved.
A deadly downward rush of air, known as a microburst, uprooted roosting songbirds from trees in the Leola, Gordonville and Bird-in-Hand areas and slammed them around.
“It appears they were literally blown into the tree branches, the ground — even into each other,” says Greg Graham, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s wildlife conservation officer for northeastern Lancaster County.
“It doesn’t happen often.”
The unusual microburst conclusion was reached after the Game Commission sent the refrigerated carcasses of three robins and two house finches to the diagnostic section of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Lab in Athens, Georgia.