Flock of blackbirds drops dead mid-flight in Mexico

Security footage captured the moment a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds crashes into the ground on a street in Mexico’s Chihuahua state early on February 7.

Alejandra Herlinda Iglesias Gonzalez told Storyful two of her relatives noticed dozens of dead birds on the street on the morning of February 7.

Police later inquired about the dead birds and discovered the moment the birds crashed from the sky using Gonzalez’s camera footage.

An expert who attended the scene at the request of authorities suggested the birds may have died due to toxic fumes from a nearby heater or an overload from power lines, El Diario de Chihuahua reported.

Talking to The Guardian Dr Richard Broughton, an ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said he was 99% sure it was caused by a predatory bird driving the flock towards the ground, with higher birds forcing lower ones to crash into the buildings or the ground.

“This looks like a raptor like a peregrine or hawk has been chasing a flock, like they do with murmurating starlings, and they have crashed as the flock was forced low,” he said. “You can see that they act like a wave at the beginning, as if they are being flushed from above.”

However, there has, as yet, been no official determination of how the birds died.