Italian Birds 'Ate Themselves to Death'
Flying gluttons suffered 'massive indigestion,' says expert
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2011 3:22 AM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2011 5:49 AM CST
Gluttons?   (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

(Newser) – Here's the latest in dubious explanations for the recent massive bird die-offs: Italian turtle doves ate themselves to death, says one scientist. Some 1,000 of the birds fell dead or dying from the sky last week in the village of Faenza with blue stains on their beaks, and "we are fairly confident the birds died as a result of massive indigestion brought on by over-eating," the director of a regional zoological institute told the Daily Mail.

"The most likely cause are discarded sunflower seeds that were found on an industrial estate close to where the bodies of the turtle doves were found," he continued. "In essence the birds were greedy, ate too many of the seeds—which we have found inside them during autopsies—and this brought on the indigestion that led to their death." Official results are expected tomorrow. Click for more on the turtle doves.