Hundreds of blackbirds were seen on video falling from the sky in Mexico and hitting the pavement. Some died on impact.
The circumstances surrounding the event led some to question whether it was pollution or 5G on social media. However, an animal expert told The Guardian it was likely a predatory bird that led to the flock of birds to the ground.
Security camera footage recorded the incident on Feb. 7, according to the local paper El Heraldo de Chihuahua. Residents in the community saw hundreds of blackbirds dead on the streets and sidewalks and called police.
Dr. Richard Broughton, an ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, told The Guardian he believed there was a raptor who chased the birds and drove them to the ground.
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“This looks like a raptor like a peregrine or hawk has been chasing a flock, like they do with murmurating starlings, and they have crashed as the flock was forced low,” he said. “You can see that they act like a wave at the beginning, as if they are being flushed from above.”
Other possible causes for the bizarre fall include the birds inhaling toxic smoke from a nearby heater or they were standing on an overloaded power line.
In 2014, birds continued to fell from the sky in St. Louis, Mich., after they fed on insects and grubs from contaminated soil. Decades of pollution for a former nearby chemical plant led to a forensic study that found lethal levels of DDT in the birds collected.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hundreds of birds dead after falling from Mexico sky: viral video