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Security Camera Catches Massive Birdfall in Mexico That Left Street Littered With US-Nesting Blackbirds

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A shocking video out of Mexico shows a cloud of colorful migratory blackbirds slamming into the ground, a frightening maneuver that left at least a hundred dead birds — with many more dazed and injured — scattered on a roadway.

The deadly dive happened on the morning of Feb. 7 in Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, according to local outlet El Heraldo de Chihuahua.

Residents initially discovered the dead birds on the ground and called the police, who noted the large number of corpses but failed to find an obvious cause. The creatures were identified as migratory yellow-headed blackbirds.

Thankfully, a nearby surveillance camera caught the sudden dive. The wild footage soon went viral.

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The yellow-headed blackbird is a migratory bird that can be spotted nesting in or passing through nearly every area of the western United States, and whose dazzling heads are a common sight for many Americans.

A map from the Montana state government’s field guide shows this bird’s range covers nearly every patch of America west of the Mississippi.

Sadly, it looks like many of these birds will not be returning home this year.

Were these birds fleeing a predator?

With only parts of the flying cluster’s initial movements captured on video, it’s difficult to tell exactly what led to the birdfall.

A local veterinarian speculated the deaths could be caused by a cloud of toxic smoke, according to the Heraldo.

Others said overloaded power lines, agrochemicals and the cold weather could be at play. An emerging “official” story appears to make more sense, but the new theory may not convince everyone.

According to a top bird expert, the bizarre move was likely the result of the flock fleeing a predator’s dive.

“The big flocks can make these quick twisting motions, move together very quickly and they all are following the one right next to them who makes the most decisive move,” Cornell ornithologist Kevin McGowan told The Washington Post.

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“They’re wingtip to wingtip in this tight bunch that makes it harder for the predators to actually pick out one and keep up with it.”

When these birds are already so close to the ground, the maneuvers can sometimes have fatal results for individuals blinded in the mass.

The theory seems to fit the video out of Mexico, but without a clear and complete video, the full picture of what happened to these birds will remain a mystery.

McGowan dismissed conspiracies swirling over the unusual deaths, pointing out this was one of the “weird ways” in which organisms sometimes die.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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