Hundreds of Starlings Drop Dead in Wales After Locals Hear ‘Huge Electrical-Type Bang’

© AP Photo / Sergei GritsСтая скворцов в поле на окраине Минска, Белоруссия
Стая скворцов в поле на окраине Минска, Белоруссия - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2022
Hundreds of birds dropped dead from the sky in Wales on Thursday, after witnesses reported hearing a “huge electrical-type bang.” Officials confirmed that around 200 dead starlings were found near the villages of Waterston and Hazelbeach in Pembrokeshire on Friday morning.
The injured birds were seen scattered across roads, as well as in hedges and other nearby vegetation, while local officers worked to clear the birds’ small, blood-covered bodies from the road and surrounding areas.
Local resident Claire Eaton had taken an injured bird home to care for it. “It was really traumatic, on the road there were quite a few dead birds. Blood splattered everywhere. I saw a flash in the sky about an hour previously,” she said of the experience.
“It was like something out of a horror film. I think the cause of this is man made, and people need to respect our wildlife,” she added.
Ian Mccaffrey, who works in Waterston, reported hearing a large electrical-type bang as he left work on Thursday night. He says following the shocking noise, dozens of birds fell from the sky and landed on his car. Mccaffrey said the loud sound was similar to lightning.
European Starlings are the continent’s most frequently found songbirds. First brought to New York in 1890 by Shakespeare enthusiasts, they’re now considered a pest in the United States. But the small birds are also capable of creating mesmerizing fluid formations when they fly in large groups. The formations are called murmuration, and dazzle anyone lucky enough to witness the dance.
Pembrokeshire’s local newspaper editor, Tom Sinclair, said the fallen birds could be heard in the hedges, chirping and crying. Sinclair estimates that close to 1,000 birds have died.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said that the starlings may have been disturbed during their evening roost. "When this happens during night-time, it can cause them to collide with the ground as they become disorientated,” the organization said.
What caused the mass death is still unclear, according to a spokesperson for the Pembrokeshire Council. The RSPB has said they are investigating the mysterious matter.
A similar incident happened in Rome on January 1, 2021, when hundreds of dead starlings were discovered littering the streets of Italy’s capital following a New Year’s firework display.
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