This is getting ridiculous.
“[A]n estimated 500 birds that littered a quarter-mile stretch of highway,” in Louisiana, according to the AP. Oh, and apparently in Kentucky too only numbering in the dozens, so that barely qualifies as a story.
Obviously, no one in the MSM is concerned about getting an exact body count but an “estimated 500” is certainly better than the Journal’s stab of “Between 1,000 and 5,000.”
As for the cause, well, everyone seems to have a theory but the conclusion we’re most inclined to believe is along the lines of “we’ve got no fucking idea”:
“There was probably some physical reason, but I doubt anyone will ever know what it was,” Thurman Booth, Arkansas’ wildlife services director, told CBS.
The latest occurrence of more dead birds turning up in Louisiana only compounds local residents’ worries, as in the week prior to the Arkansas blackbird mystery, 83,000 dead drum fish washed up along a river about 100 miles west of Beebe. Wildlife officials claim the incidents are not related.
Oh, right. The fish. People are needed to count fish too.
As you are no doubt aware, landing an emergency inventory count on New Year’s Eve is about as an unlucky event that can befall an auditor. Typically, you don’t miss any of the booze or scrambling for a midnight kiss but seriously, who wants to work on New Year’s Eve?
As bad as the 12/31 count may be, when you get a call to count birds that fell out of the sky for no apparent reason at 10 pm on December 31st, you can safely assume that your new year will be far, far luckier.
About 10 p.m. Friday, thousands of red-winged blackbirds began falling out of the sky over this town about 35 miles northeast of Little Rock. They landed on roofs, roads, front lawns and backyards, turning the ground nearly black and scaring anyone who happened to be outside.
“One of them almost hit my best friend in the head,” said Christy Stephens, who was standing outside among the smoking crowd at a New Year’s Eve party. “We went inside after that.”
The cause is still being determined, said Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Of the more than 4,000 birds that fell on Beebe, 65 samples have been sent to labs, one in Arkansas, the other in Wisconsin. Some results may be available as soon as Monday, Mr. Stephens said.
It’s doubtful that auditors in these counts but the skills involved are no less than of the classic opiner. This just happens to be a far creepier count than you would normally be assigned.