BEEBE, Arkansas (AP) — Researchers say fireworks probably startled thousands of blackbirds that fell dead from the skies in a small Arkansas town shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve.
Townspeople in Beebe, Arkansas, northeast of Little Rock, spent the holiday weekend cleaning up more than 3,000 carcasses. Necropsies performed Monday showed the birds suffered internal injuries that formed blood clots that helped kill them.
The red-winged blackbirds rained onto rooftops and sidewalks and into fields. One struck a woman walking her dog. Another hit a police cruiser.
The tests showed lightning was probably not to blame. Poisoning was ruled out early on.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.