HUNTSVILLE, Ala – It’s a sight a person would never expect to see: dozens of dead birds littering the road.
But that’s exactly what a Huntsville man found Tuesday. He counted more than 60 dead birds on Moores Mill Road near the Ware intersection. He is very concerned, since he believes they died in the same spot at the same time.
It seems like a plotline straight out of a Hitchcock movie … dozens of birds falling from the sky.
“I noticed something that was standing out in the middle of the road when I was driving here yesterday,” said Richard Ellis, a concerned Huntsville resident.
What he saw was a group of more than 60 dead birds covering a small section of Moores Mill Road. That was when his questions began to take flight.
“I don’t know if it’s a release of some type of possible gas. I don’t know if there’s a pocket somewhere where they were flying and they were all exposed to something that caused them to crash and burn,” he questioned.
So, WHNT News 19’s Kelley Smith knocked on neighbors’ doors looking for answers. The birds died across the street from several homes and an industrial facility that is currently sitting empty. One man who lives on that street says he saw a swarm of European Starlings yesterday, but didn’t see them die.
WHNT News 19 reached out to Dr. Geoff Hill, a professor in biological sciences and a curator of birds at Auburn University.
“Have you seen what looks like dozens of birds die in the same spot at the same time,” Kelley Smith asked.
“No, I’ve never seen that,” Dr. Hill responded.
He can only guess what happened since he wasn’t able to go to Moores Mill Road.
“It has to be something really traumatic that instant death for a vertebrate animal and so you’re guessing some kind of poison, a really bad poison that would act really fast and kill the animals or like a lightning strike or something,” he said. “It’s worrisome. Anything that would kill that many birds that fast would certainly be a health concern.”
He recommends that the birds should be tested by a county agent so it can be turned over to a health department.
WHNT News 19 reached out to the City of Huntsville. A spokesperson for the city says Animal Services is looking into this, but to determine what caused the birds to die they would need to be sent to a state testing lab. They say commenting now would be speculation at this point. They said Animals Services would make a decision on whether they wanted to have the birds tested after they visited the scene. WHNT News 19 has not been told what they decided to do.