Blackbird killings in Arkansas believed intentional

Mon Jan 2, 2012 6:27pm EST

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(Reuters) - Someone intentionally set off fireworks under a blackbird roost in Beebe, Arkansas on New Year's Eve, killing about 200 birds on the first anniversary of the similar death of 5,000 of the birds, authorities said on Monday.

"Fireworks were found at the roost so we know it was intentional," said Ginny Porter, spokeswoman the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

She said about 200 birds died of blunt force trauma after they were spooked by the explosion and slammed into trees, houses, cars or one another.

"Blackbirds don't see well at night and loud noises startle them," Porter said.

It was doubtful the killer would be punished since Beebe city regulations allow citizens to set off fireworks on New Year's Eve and July 4, said Lieutenant Brian Duke of the city police force.

"There is really no criminal violation that has occurred," Duke said.

Porter said police and a wildlife officer had been patrolling the residential neighborhood where thousands of blackbirds are known to roost in the winter months. They were on alert after last New Year's Eve's discovery of 5,000 dead birds, which authorities have since concluded was tied to fireworks.

Police were called to another incident and suddenly, at about midnight, a large firework exploded beneath the roost and the birds were soon discovered dead, Porter said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Greg McCune)

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Comments (2)
natiop wrote:
Blackbirds are listed under the migratory bird treaty act of 1918, making it illegal to intentionally kill any migratory bird, including various species of blackbirds :

Jan 02, 2012 7:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
maryanneappel wrote:
I am too distressed about this horrible intentional killing of sentient beings to write a comment at this time. So i’m simply quoting from a very wise individual, Axel Munthe, to describe the person or persons reponsible for such a reprehensible act: “The cruel wild beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He stands in front of it.”

Jan 03, 2012 9:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
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