More than 1,000 dead birds fall from sky in Ark

Jan 2, 2011 | Posted by: Inisa Love | Full story: news.yahoo.com

BEEBE, Ark. Wildlife officials are trying to determine what caused more than 1,000 blackbirds to die and fall from the sky over an Arkansas town.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Saturday that it began receiving reports about the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. the previous night. The birds fell over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area.
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WARRIOR

Washington, DC

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#6544
Aug 24, 2012
 
Churmudgeon wrote:
<quoted text> There are game farms in Arkansas that let you hunt quail for a fee. They are pen raised and released just before the hunt. The wild bobwhite Quail are almost extinct in Arkansas. Habitat loss due to farmers cleaning up the overgrowth and fence rows. And the Fescue pastures and lack of winter forage all contribute. And the predators are on the increase. Coyotes ,fox, racoon, armadillo Snakes and dogs & cats ect. find the nest and eat the eggs. Then in the winter Hawks kill the grown birds. My farm has overgrown fence rows. I dont bushhog the blackberry patches and I plant scersia lespedisa and other wildlife food plots. Even the cotton tail rabbitts numbers are down. Ive always wanted to travel to the Navaho Dam New Mexico Area and bow hunt for rabbitt.
We have similar problems here. I used to be an avid pheasant hunter growing up in Eastern NM but the pesticide and some of those things you mentioned have just about wiped all of them out. As far as the quail go the rattle snakes and road runners have taken their toll on a lot of them. Here in NM we have excellent big game hunting. I hunt Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Oryx, Barbary Sheep and Javelina. I just wish we had the lakes and rivers like Arkansas. My grandfather when he was alive lived in Ft. Smith and he took me fishing all over the place, Ft. Chafee, the Arkansas River, private lakes. You guys have some of the best Bass Fishing in this country. Keep hunting and fishing my friend!
Churmudgeon

Pocahontas, AR

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#6545
Aug 25, 2012
 
WARRIOR wrote:
<quoted text>We have similar problems here. I used to be an avid pheasant hunter growing up in Eastern NM but the pesticide and some of those things you mentioned have just about wiped all of them out. As far as the quail go the rattle snakes and road runners have taken their toll on a lot of them. Here in NM we have excellent big game hunting. I hunt Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Oryx, Barbary Sheep and Javelina. I just wish we had the lakes and rivers like Arkansas. My grandfather when he was alive lived in Ft. Smith and he took me fishing all over the place, Ft. Chafee, the Arkansas River, private lakes. You guys have some of the best Bass Fishing in this country. Keep hunting and fishing my friend!
I saw my first coyote here in 1969. Aramadillo Turkey & roadrunners appeared in the mid seventies. Now we are over run with armadilo coyote & deer.There are a growing number of mountian lions & bald eagles now. The latest is the arrival of black vultures. They will kill cattle. large numbers of them surround a young calf and peck its eyes out. The calf will die from shock. If they find a cow down in the process of calving they will peck its eyes out and kill the cow and calf both. Then there is the problem with peoples free roaming dogs that form pack,s . the people work and the children are at school. the bored dogs pack up and liik for something to kill. They always seen to have some that are pitt bull or rott mix that are the killers. I keep a female Burrow and a male horse with my livestock and they are very good at keeping predators away. Out turkey population really blossomed for a time we had flocks that numbered in the hundreds. then the commercial chicken grow houses came in. The litter when the building are cleaned is spread on the fields. Baby Turkeys are very succeptable to pullorum diseases. So now the young turkeys have a high mortality rate and the numdrs are diminishing. This year all the rivers and Lakes are very low. Some of the rivers where they pump irrigation water are completly dry. My creek is not running past my land. There is a big water hole with a gravel bar and the water doesnt go past it. Its simply dissappears like the colarado river. I believe something is up with the planet we might be at the end of an age?
WARRIOR

Alamogordo, NM

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#6546
Aug 25, 2012
 
I almost fogot about our Turkeys. They are Merriams and very plentiful here. We also have tons of coyotes that make for good sport. The Mountain Lion has decimated many deer herds around here. They say a lion will take one deer every five days. We have also got that Chronic Wasting disease in a few of our deer, it's like mad cow. I remember having to shoot packs of dogs on our place when I was growing up. You are corect they kill just to kill. We, probably like you and most of the states are starting to experience a really bad feral hog problem. These wild hogs kill and tear eveything up! We have to eradcate them before it is too late! We have been in a drought for years and as far as being at the end of an age I believe that if we don't have change in November we could be speeding up that end!
Churmudgeon

Pocahontas, AR

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#6547
Aug 25, 2012
 
WARRIOR wrote:
I almost fogot about our Turkeys. They are Merriams and very plentiful here. We also have tons of coyotes that make for good sport. The Mountain Lion has decimated many deer herds around here. They say a lion will take one deer every five days. We have also got that Chronic Wasting disease in a few of our deer, it's like mad cow. I remember having to shoot packs of dogs on our place when I was growing up. You are corect they kill just to kill. We, probably like you and most of the states are starting to experience a really bad feral hog problem. These wild hogs kill and tear eveything up! We have to eradcate them before it is too late! We have been in a drought for years and as far as being at the end of an age I believe that if we don't have change in November we could be speeding up that end!
We dont have a Feral hog problem In NE Arkansas. This area is hunted very hard and the deer hunters would kill any pigs that would come to their feeders. Its not really good hog habitat there wouldnt be many places thay could hide. but there are a growing number of hogs in south ark. And there where some in the Mark twain national forest in missouri. Those places have lots of tree farms and sparsly populated federal forest. The mountian lions here roam the highways at nite and eat road kill deer & animals. We have pictures of them on game cameras located near deer feeders. Ill vote for Romney this Nov. But i dont think it will help, there doesnt appear to be a viable political or ballott box solution. Its raining here today. This year is the first really dry year we have experienced since 1980.

“Conserve Wildlife Habitat”

Since: Dec 10

SE Michigan

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#6548
Aug 25, 2012
 
Hey Churm,

It is my understanding that vultures do not kill anything. Their feet are too weak to take down a healthy animal. They are simply eating what is already dead.

I'm wondering, have you witnessed the vultures kill something? or did you see them feeding on a dead carcass and assume they made the kill?

I imagine it's possible they could peck a helpless baby to death, but then many babies don't survive anyway. Unless the actual kill was witnessed, there's no way of knowing what killed the animal.

As far as viable solutions at the ballot box, there's always the write-in box. Personally, I'd rather be in the minority that stood up for the Constitution and our Bill of Rights- and write in Ron Paul- the only candidate we can trust to honor his oath of office and do what needs to be done to return America to the country our founders envisioned. The same old repubs and dems just don't get it anymore.

On another note, the blackbirds and grackles are flocking up here. They'll be on the move before long. A friend in Northern Michigan had well over 200 nighthawks fly over her house last evening heading south.

Hope you are doing well.
Old Army

Crossett, AR

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#6550
Aug 25, 2012
 
Vultures can kill humans!!!! I've seen it with my own eyes in old Westerns.(Sarcasm)
Churmudgeon

Pocahontas, AR

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#6551
Aug 25, 2012
 
Raptor in Michigan wrote:
Hey Churm,
It is my understanding that vultures do not kill anything. Their feet are too weak to take down a healthy animal. They are simply eating what is already dead.
I'm wondering, have you witnessed the vultures kill something? or did you see them feeding on a dead carcass and assume they made the kill?
I imagine it's possible they could peck a helpless baby to death, but then many babies don't survive anyway. Unless the actual kill was witnessed, there's no way of knowing what killed the animal.
As far as viable solutions at the ballot box, there's always the write-in box. Personally, I'd rather be in the minority that stood up for the Constitution and our Bill of Rights- and write in Ron Paul- the only candidate we can trust to honor his oath of office and do what needs to be done to return America to the country our founders envisioned. The same old repubs and dems just don't get it anymore.
On another note, the blackbirds and grackles are flocking up here. They'll be on the move before long. A friend in Northern Michigan had well over 200 nighthawks fly over her house last evening heading south.
Hope you are doing well.
The turkey Buzzard dont kill. But Black vultures do. they are newcomers from south america and are smaller than turkey buzzards. Do a google search for Black vultures. I know of four calves and one cow that had their eyes pecked out by Black vulturesand they died from shock. They also kill small sheep goats & deer. they fly in groups of 50 or more and there are documented witnessed kills.
Churmudgeon

Pocahontas, AR

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#6552
Aug 25, 2012
 
The Black Vulture also occasionally feeds on livestock or deer. It is the only species of New World vulture which preys on cattle. It occasionally harasses cows which are giving birth, but primarily preys on newborn calves. In its first few weeks, a calf will allow vultures to approach it. The vultures swarm the calf in a group, then peck at the calf's eyes, or at the nose or the tongue. The calf then goes into shock and is killed by the vultures.[43]
-----This is a copy & paste i just got from a search.
Churmudgeon

Pocahontas, AR

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#6553
Aug 25, 2012
 
I went and bought two young french alpine milk goats today. one of them is pregnant. We plan on milking them. The sheep & goat market is soft lowest prices in many years.Imported mutton from australia & other places is partly to blame. But a goat or sheep will still sell for more money than a Horse or mule.
WARRIOR

Alamogordo, NM

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#6554
Aug 25, 2012
 
Churmudgeon wrote:
The Black Vulture also occasionally feeds on livestock or deer. It is the only species of New World vulture which preys on cattle. It occasionally harasses cows which are giving birth, but primarily preys on newborn calves. In its first few weeks, a calf will allow vultures to approach it. The vultures swarm the calf in a group, then peck at the calf's eyes, or at the nose or the tongue. The calf then goes into shock and is killed by the vultures.[43]
-----This is a copy & paste i just got from a search.
I bet a few of my handy with shotgun buddies could come and take care of most of those vultures for you; and all it would cost you is the directions to your favorite fishing hole!
Old Army

Crossett, AR

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#6558
Aug 25, 2012
 

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harrycallihan wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess that's why you hug the urinal so nobody can see your little peepee....My buddy said, As long it gets wet, he doesn't give a shit....
Damn, is that how you gets your rocks off, watching old farts piss and then talking about it with your "buddy"? Sounds queer to me.
Churmudgeon

Pocahontas, AR

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#6561
Aug 26, 2012
 
WARRIOR wrote:
<quoted text>I bet a few of my handy with shotgun buddies could come and take care of most of those vultures for you; and all it would cost you is the directions to your favorite fishing hole!
there Is no shortage of guns & ammo at my place. Its against federal law to kill the vultures. It seems that any time you have domestic livestock there is some type of varmit wanting to take advantage of a easy meal. The fish in my pond are always under attack by what we call Water Turkeys. The numerious craines & storks are constantly after the fish & frogs. I believe There isnt any such thing a a balance of nature. The endangered species act while it helped some birds has harmed others. We used to feed grain & suet to the birds during the winter, It got to where the hawks would never leave they just waited and preyed on the cardinals , snowbirds ect that came to our feeders. so we quit being the hawks enablers. The vultures used to be shot on a regular basis. When buzzards eat on dead livestock and carry whatever disease that amimal died fron to someplace else. Now that they are protected the vulture numbers have increased and the coyotes ,mountian lions , crows ect. keep the road kill gone so the buzzards look for something to kill. Also it is a law that you have to bury or burn dead cattle & horses ect. So the buzzards are not necessairy to dispose of carrion. There are quite a few bald eagles here. Those eagles are also carrion eaters. I observed a eagle that had driven the turkey buzzards away from a deer carcass. The eagle would roost in a nearby tree and stand guard driving everything else away. If a buzzard came close he would attack it. He was there for a couple of weeks.
WARRIOR

Alamogordo, NM

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#6562
Aug 26, 2012
 
Churmudgeon wrote:
<quoted text> there Is no shortage of guns & ammo at my place. Its against federal law to kill the vultures. It seems that any time you have domestic livestock there is some type of varmit wanting to take advantage of a easy meal. The fish in my pond are always under attack by what we call Water Turkeys. The numerious craines & storks are constantly after the fish & frogs. I believe There isnt any such thing a a balance of nature. The endangered species act while it helped some birds has harmed others. We used to feed grain & suet to the birds during the winter, It got to where the hawks would never leave they just waited and preyed on the cardinals , snowbirds ect that came to our feeders. so we quit being the hawks enablers. The vultures used to be shot on a regular basis. When buzzards eat on dead livestock and carry whatever disease that amimal died fron to someplace else. Now that they are protected the vulture numbers have increased and the coyotes ,mountian lions , crows ect. keep the road kill gone so the buzzards look for something to kill. Also it is a law that you have to bury or burn dead cattle & horses ect. So the buzzards are not necessairy to dispose of carrion. There are quite a few bald eagles here. Those eagles are also carrion eaters. I observed a eagle that had driven the turkey buzzards away from a deer carcass. The eagle would roost in a nearby tree and stand guard driving everything else away. If a buzzard came close he would attack it. He was there for a couple of weeks.
That's a shame. You should be able to protect your livestock and livlihood at almost all costs. The wife keeps the dog bowls full and the dove have learned that equates to a free meal. I have dozens of dove constantly fighting for that food. They make one heck of a mess on my back porch. Then I got the swallows who dab mud nests under the eaves on the front and back porches and they make one heck of a mess. The wife hates it but I leave the nests alone until after their young hatch and fly away. I can deal with the mess because they take care of the mosquitos and flys for me. We also have many hawks and bald eagles. About 3 months ago we were camping up around Three Rivers and I took a picture of over a dozen bald eagles roosting in one tree, it was quite a sight! If I had vultures I still just might have to shoot them if they are as bad as you are telling me.
Churmudgeon

Horseshoe Bend, AR

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#6563
Aug 26, 2012
 
WARRIOR wrote:
<quoted text>That's a shame. You should be able to protect your livestock and livlihood at almost all costs. The wife keeps the dog bowls full and the dove have learned that equates to a free meal. I have dozens of dove constantly fighting for that food. They make one heck of a mess on my back porch. Then I got the swallows who dab mud nests under the eaves on the front and back porches and they make one heck of a mess. The wife hates it but I leave the nests alone until after their young hatch and fly away. I can deal with the mess because they take care of the mosquitos and flys for me. We also have many hawks and bald eagles. About 3 months ago we were camping up around Three Rivers and I took a picture of over a dozen bald eagles roosting in one tree, it was quite a sight! If I had vultures I still just might have to shoot them if they are as bad as you are telling me.
We have dozens of those barn swallows that buils there mud nest under the eaves of our buildings. They return every year and their numbers are increasing. We also have a Pheobe and bluebirds nest here. We enjoy watching them. When they lay their eggs I check every week for cowbird eggs. The cow bird lays its eggs in other birds nest. when the baby cowbird hatches he grows faster & larger than the others and will push them from the nest. At our former home for many years we had a house wren that lived with us. She nested on the porch and in winter during the cold and at nite would come inside. She would just wait for you to open the door and let her in or out. We have a jenny(burro) that stays with our cattle and will drive away and sometimes kill predators. I dont know if she will harrass vultures. I havent lost any calves too them. But a neighbor less than a mile away has lost some to the black vultures.
fly

Osceola, AR

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#6564
Aug 26, 2012
 
Fly birds!

“Conserve Wildlife Habitat”

Since: Dec 10

SE Michigan

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#6565
Aug 26, 2012
 
Churmudgeon wrote:
<quoted text> The turkey Buzzard dont kill. But Black vultures do. they are newcomers from south america and are smaller than turkey buzzards. Do a google search for Black vultures. I know of four calves and one cow that had their eyes pecked out by Black vulturesand they died from shock. They also kill small sheep goats & deer. they fly in groups of 50 or more and there are documented witnessed kills.
Thanks for the info, Churm. Seems you are correct.

This is what the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has to say and they are a leading bird authority: "The Black Vulture feeds mainly on carrion, although it also scavenges fish, vegetable material, and dung. Occasionally, Black Vultures attack small live prey, or in larger groups may attack lambs or newborn pigs."

The Raptor Center has this to say:
"Black Vultures tend to gather around garbage dumps, sewers, and slaughterhouses in search of carrion and scavenge along roadsides for road kill. These vultures are known to kill baby herons on nesting colonies, and feed on domestic ducks, newborn calves, small mammals, small birds, eggs, skunks, opossums, ripe or rotten fruit or vegetables and young turtles. Black Vultures are opportunistic predators who tend to gorge themselves when they find a suitable food source."
http://www.raptorcenter.org/black-vulture.asp

Still they are a cool, graceful bird in flight and I always enjoy watching large groups of them, and the Turkey Vultures, soar on the thermals when I'm in the south.

In another six weeks or so the TV's will be leaving this area in very large numbers. On some days 10,000 individuals in large kettles will be flying over the Lake Erie Hawkwatch. It's a sight to see, for sure. But nowhere near the number of Broad-winged Hawks we get! That's another story.
Churmudgeon

Horseshoe Bend, AR

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#6566
Aug 26, 2012
 
Raptor in Michigan wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the info, Churm. Seems you are correct.
This is what the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has to say and they are a leading bird authority: "The Black Vulture feeds mainly on carrion, although it also scavenges fish, vegetable material, and dung. Occasionally, Black Vultures attack small live prey, or in larger groups may attack lambs or newborn pigs."
The Raptor Center has this to say:
"Black Vultures tend to gather around garbage dumps, sewers, and slaughterhouses in search of carrion and scavenge along roadsides for road kill. These vultures are known to kill baby herons on nesting colonies, and feed on domestic ducks, newborn calves, small mammals, small birds, eggs, skunks, opossums, ripe or rotten fruit or vegetables and young turtles. Black Vultures are opportunistic predators who tend to gorge themselves when they find a suitable food source."
http://www.raptorcenter.org/black-vulture.asp
Still they are a cool, graceful bird in flight and I always enjoy watching large groups of them, and the Turkey Vultures, soar on the thermals when I'm in the south.
In another six weeks or so the TV's will be leaving this area in very large numbers. On some days 10,000 individuals in large kettles will be flying over the Lake Erie Hawkwatch. It's a sight to see, for sure. But nowhere near the number of Broad-winged Hawks we get! That's another story.
I never knew about the black vulturesthen being calf killers until they reciently started killing calves in this area. We have hawks & buzzards year round.their numbers really increase during the winter aftr the frost kills the ground cover. Down in the bottom lands In janurary it seems every utility pole has a hawk or owl on it. there are very few large trees down there. The trees where removed so crop dusters could fly and spray more efficiently. Then the few left get poisoned by the spraying. The Hawks do kill a lot of rats but they also have decimated the rabbitts,Quail and other birds. Coyotes are a big problem for melon growers. The coyote will chew holes in the ripe melons and eat the heart portion.
Old Army

Crossett, AR

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#6567
Aug 26, 2012
 
harrycallihan wrote:
<quoted text>
HEY prune a$$,
You should know being that you live in Vilonia of all places. You were the smack fairy talking about size not me peter puffer. As a matter fact you do sound queer..... sarcasm.....oh hell lighten up old fart....
FuckYou (not sarcasm).
Old Army

Crossett, AR

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#6568
Aug 26, 2012
 
harrycallihan wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey,
if you cant take it, don't dish it out on others.....go read some past post. Sarcasm. Irony is a bitch....
Ditto on my last post. Did I not make it clear enough? FuckYou.
WARRIOR

Alamogordo, NM

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#6569
Aug 26, 2012
 

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Old Army wrote:
<quoted text>
FuckYou (not sarcasm).
You seem upset.

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