A bizarre wildlife incident has been filmed in Mexico, and the viral footage has experts scratching their heads. It shows a large flock of hundreds of birds falling from the sky and slamming onto a street in the neighborhood below.

Local journal El Heraldo de Chihuahua reports that the event occurred on the morning of February 7 in the town of Cuauhtémoc, in northern Mexico, and involved a flock of migrating yellow-headed blackbirds (Xanthocephalus), which breed in the United States and Canada and migrate to southern Mexico in winter.

A minute-long clip captured by security camera shows the herd collapsing like a dark cloud and hitting the sidewalk. While large numbers of birds eventually shook off the impact and flew away, dozens of birds died and were found scattered around the area.

Theories About This Confusing Wildlife Video

Although the cause of the mass bird deaths remains unclear, experts have put forward a number of theories that could explain what happened, the Guardian reports.

A veterinarian consulted by El Heraldo de Chihuahua suggested that the birds could have been affected by cold weather or pollution levels caused by wood-burning appliances and agricultural chemicals. Other experts have suggested the birds could have been electrocuted by high voltage power lines in the area.

People on social media even guessed that the herd was somehow confused because of 5G, a widely circulated lie about cellular technology that has been debunked by the likes of the National Audubon Society and UNICEF.

Photo by La Policía Seccional de Álvaro.
Blackbirds mysteriously died on Mexican street
Photo by La Policía Seccional de Álvaro.
Blackbirds mysteriously died on Mexican street
Photo by La Policía Seccional de Álvaro.

One expert, ecologist Dr. Richard Broughton of the UK Center for Ecology & Hydrology, says Guardian that it is 99% certain that the flock was trying to escape a predatory bird and was chased into the ground.

“It looks like a raptor like a peregrine or a falcon chasing a flock, like they do with murmuring starlings, and they crashed as the flock was forced down,” Broughton says. “You can see they act like a wave at first, like they’re being chased from above.”

Experts also say that because congregating birds may follow the flight patterns of nearby birds instead of being aware of the landscape around them, tight flocks can sometimes risk colliding with structures or even ground.

A similar incident in the UK in 2019

A similar incident occurred in December 2019 in the UK when roughly 225 starlings were discovered dead on a secondary road. Post-mortem examinations of the birds concluded that they probably died after hitting the ground while avoiding a predator.

“There was no bird flu content, and […] no poison was found in the animals,” said Rob Taylor of North Wales Police Rural Crime Team. in a Twitter video. “The veterinarian who conducted the investigation confirmed that the injuries and death of the birds were caused by the birds hitting the tarmac or nearby bushes, and likely consistent with the birds avoiding inclement weather or a raptor. In the region.

“Hopefully that puts a line under it. […] This is a fairly common phenomenon that occurs all over the world.

It’s unclear how “common” this phenomenon actually is, but the viral images currently circulating the web are an extremely rare case where they are actually captured on camera.

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