2011-01-06 / Local & State

Bird Carcasses Being Sent For Testing

BEEBE, Ark. (AP) – The carcasses of some of the nearly 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that inexplicably fell on an Arkansas town on New Year’s Eve night will be sent for testing to determine the cause of death.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says the state Livestock and Poultry Commission Lab and the National Wildlife Health Center Lab in Madison, Wis., will examine the dead birds.

Commission spokesman Keith Stephens says the birds fell in an area about a mile long and a half-mile wide. He says it's not the first time birds have dropped from the Arkansas sky.

Environmental workers finished picking up the carcasses on Sunday.

Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe says the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail, or may have been startled by fireworks.

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