If you’ve been searching for a simple explanation for what caused the deaths of thousands of birds in Arkansas, veterinary pathologists have one: they all ran into something. “It was impact trauma,” the chief of disease investigations at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison tells the Wisconsin State Journal. After examining the wounds on the birds, researchers have concluded that the birds must have flown into various buildings and other structures after being disoriented by fireworks.
“What they’re thinking is that there were some commercial-grade fireworks that went off,” the official says. “Those need a permit, but nobody applied for a permit, so it’s unlikely anybody would come forward.” The same laboratory is also working on the dead birds found in Louisiana. They haven’t reached a conclusion on that case, but say the incidents are unrelated, and that weather was the likely culprit. (Read more dead animals stories.)