More than 4,000 blackbirds fell dead in Beebe, Ark., last New Year’s Day – and 200 more were found dead yesterday in the same town in another strange occurrence.
Scientists believe, however, that fireworks may be to blame.
It is not known when the purported fireworks were set off, but sightings of birds falling from the sky were reported around 7:00 p.m. this past Saturday, on New Year’s Eve, ABC News reported.
"Well, there was just birds falling down on the street and people dodging and missing them," Horace Taylor from Animal Care and Control in Beebe told ABC News. "And we were down the street picking them up. We got called out by the chief and we all [came] out trying to pick them off the street."
The birds have already been cleaned up, Lt. Brian Duke of the Beebe Police Department revealed. There were no reports of any injuries, unlike last year where the falling birds hit a police car and a woman walking her dog, according to The Associated Press.
Last year on New Year's Day, dead birds littered the streets and were found all over town, including near churches and other buildings. A media frenzy ensued at the time as people linked the event to apocalyptic prophecies and reportedly claimed it was a sign of the end times. A possible explanation offered by scientists for the bizarre occurrence was that exploding fireworks scared the birds and caused them to fly into buildings and into each other.
Genny Porter from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission suggested in a statement to Fox News that fireworks may be what caused the incident this year as well. "We know that there was evidence of fireworks set off in the middle of the roost, and it wasn't a coincidence," he said.
Officials said that the perpetrators, if found, will face criminal charges, since police in Beebe placed a ban on fireworks for this year’s celebrations after the bird deaths last year.
Besides fireworks, other theories included that the birds were poisoned or got caught in a mass atmospheric disturbance, according to a video by ABC last year covering the incident.