Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Falling from the Sky: Thousands of Birds Die After Mistaking Wal-Mart Parking Lot for Lake

Thousands of migratory birds near St. George, Utah, are injured or dead after apparently mistaking a Wal-Mart parking lot as well as football fields for bodies of water and plummeting to the ground. One state wildlife expert is calling it the worst downing she's ever witnessed, after crews and volunteers were called in to help with the massive clean-up.

By mid-afternoon on Wednesday, crews had managed to rescue several thousand of the hapless birds, but were unable to save thousands more who died from their traumatic injuries. "They're just everywhere," said Teresa Griffin, wildlife program manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource's southern region. "It's been nonstop. All our employees are driving around picking them up, and we've got so many people coming to our office and dropping them off."

Government officials say stormy conditions probably confused the flock of grebes, a duck-like aquatic bird as they began migrating to Mexico for the winter. The birds tried to land in a Cedar City Wal-Mart parking lot and elsewhere, but thousands smashed into the concrete lot, suffering tremendous injuries.

Around the same time last year, thousands of incidents of birds falling dead from the sky were reported from all around the world, for which an official explanation has never been offered. 

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