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Author Topic: What killed these birds?  (Read 31161 times)

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #50 on: 12/01/2011 10:11:53 »
To answer the original question, it was probably fireworks:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7054C020110106
 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #51 on: 12/01/2011 10:17:28 »
Unlikely JP I must say. Birds are showing up dead where fireworks are absent, not to mention that every new year there would be visible traces of mass bird deaths right on the doorstep of peoples homes. Forgive me, but I don't recall anyone last year reporting even anything remotely close to these mass deaths.
 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #52 on: 12/01/2011 10:19:33 »
Also another reason that it is unlikely is because birds are still falling out the sky. If fireworks caused any distress, fatal distress at that, it would have killed them right at new year... not two weeks down the line.
 

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #53 on: 12/01/2011 10:54:25 »
Ok, but this is a science forum, not a conspiracy theory forum.  The original post presumably wanted a scientific answer to the question.  Scientists have explained the 5000 bird death, and they've explained that this level of bird death is normal, and that all that's changed is the media reporting of it.  Do you have a rebuttal based on science? 
 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #54 on: 12/01/2011 11:08:52 »
Conspiracy theory?

You gave your question to the OP - I am challenging the likelihood of that event.
 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #55 on: 12/01/2011 11:12:46 »
As for rebuttal, I'm afraid you have very little scientific evidence either. Your claim is also speculation.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2011 11:14:56 by QuantumClue »
 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #56 on: 12/01/2011 11:15:51 »
And I have also explained about the bird deaths concerning this ''explanation'' bird experts have. I simply don't believe flocks of birds die simultaneously in a specific area over night.

Go figure JP, seriously. Think about how wildish that claim is.
 

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #57 on: 12/01/2011 11:23:22 »
As for rebuttal, I'm afraid you have very little scientific evidence either. Your claim is also speculation.
Yeah, I suppose it's just speculation to assume that the scientists who are studying this are using science. 

...I simply don't believe flocks of birds die simultaneously in a specific area over night.
And scientists who study this do.  Their belief is based on scientific evidence.  Yours is based on...?
 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #58 on: 12/01/2011 11:32:54 »
You misunderstand me, saying it is result of fireworks is purely speculation. Whether or not one wants to believes experts saying that birds die simultaneously in flocks in the same area.. is well... a matter of choice.
 

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #59 on: 12/01/2011 11:48:31 »
You misunderstand me, saying it is result of fireworks is purely speculation.
I think I partly misunderstood you.  The 5000 deaths have been scientifically examined and the tentative findings are that it was fireworks.  I don't know about the rest, but again the scientific explanation is that the total number of deaths is nothing out of the ordinary.  (Fireworks are of course not natural, but they're not out of the ordinary for birds living near humans.) 

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Whether or not one wants to believes experts saying that birds die simultaneously in flocks in the same area.. is well... a matter of choice.
That's exactly my point!  What one wants to believe is their choice.  However, this is a science forum, so discussions here are supposed to be based on science, not belief. 
 

Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #60 on: 12/01/2011 12:10:57 »
Science... is a rationale. How about this then.

You surely would appreciate how statistically improbable it is for thousands of independant birds to die simultaneously? Biological systems like that do not operate in that kind of way... deaths are singular, not a collective.
 

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #61 on: 12/01/2011 12:56:32 »
Using words like "statistially improbable" doesn't mean anything unless you have statistical evidence to back up your point.  You've just couched your opinion in scientific-sounding jargon, but it's still just your opinion.

On the other hand, scientists are using science to say that these deaths aren't statistically improbable at all.
 

Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #62 on: 12/01/2011 14:57:42 »
JP

Listen to the arguement you are backing. Groups of birds do not die simultaneously. This would invoke some kind of collective dependance.

You are a physicist! Are you being serious about this claim?? I am perplexed how anyone can take that seriously - birds do not die collectively (as in large groups simultaneously) - they are individual mobile matter who are independant of the deaths that partake around them.

And no, I could not possibly do the calculation because... they are far to complex! Not because I would not give it a good stab. One bird dying at the same time as another bird is improbable, but perhaps believable. Thousands upon thousands is stretching the imagination somewhat.

If I am wrong about this, then perhaps this is one of my biggest blunders. But seriously, when talking about (as a standpoint from your side of the arguement) how science does not draw from work which has no scientific background, is about as lame as someone who uses scientific evidence which is to the contrary belief or rationale. If indeed bird deaths behaved this way, I would see flocks of birds die simultaneously all the time. In fact there should be a high probability that tomorrow I would walk out the house to find it patched in dead birds. But this is not going to happen, because biological deaths do not occur this way.

Does anyone else take that explanation seriously?

 

Offline QuantumClue

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #63 on: 12/01/2011 15:31:26 »
You misunderstand me, saying it is result of fireworks is purely speculation.
I think I partly misunderstood you.  The 5000 deaths have been scientifically examined and the tentative findings are that it was fireworks.  I don't know about the rest, but again the scientific explanation is that the total number of deaths is nothing out of the ordinary.  (Fireworks are of course not natural, but they're not out of the ordinary for birds living near humans.) 

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Whether or not one wants to believes experts saying that birds die simultaneously in flocks in the same area.. is well... a matter of choice.
That's exactly my point!  What one wants to believe is their choice.  However, this is a science forum, so discussions here are supposed to be based on science, not belief. 

Also JP, the fireworks theory only works for maybe new year and the day after... maybe a few rogue fireworks in the days or weeks to come. The fact that deaths have occurred in quite a matured stretch of time after new year, kind of invalidates that theory.

As Holmes once said, Once you eliminate the impossible, no matter how improbable, whatever shall remain, must be the truth.
 

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #64 on: 12/01/2011 15:42:06 »
Even if you make your opinion several paragraphs.  It's still opinion. You haven't given any science to support it.  I take it you don't have any?
 

Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #65 on: 12/01/2011 16:22:42 »
Do not misrepresent this as something where evidence is required. Rational thought is a requisite.
 

Offline Geezer

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #66 on: 12/01/2011 17:57:53 »
Do not misrepresent this as something where evidence is required.

Say what?
 

Offline imatfaal

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #67 on: 12/01/2011 18:09:50 »
As Holmes once said, Once you eliminate the impossible, no matter how improbable, whatever shall remain, must be the truth.
Trouble is i) Holmes was fictional ii) it not true, it presupposes that one's factbase is complete and unchallengeable iii) it's hubris of the worse sort to assume one can envisage every possibility and iv) let's face it conan-doyle believed passionately about the fairies at the end of the garden.
 

Offline Variola

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #68 on: 12/01/2011 20:01:16 »
Or, they birds could have been out on the razz...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/12170571
 

Offline Geezer

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #69 on: 12/01/2011 20:18:36 »
Or, they birds could have been out on the razz...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/12170571

Sorry V, I'm not buying it. This is obviously an evil portent. I'm sure there must be something about it in the Nostradamus quatrains.
 

Offline Airthumbs

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #70 on: 13/01/2011 00:00:57 »
Ok ok, we have some folk who it appears will believe anything they are told if the sentence contains scientist!

Logic would indicate that aniamls don't die in large numbers at the same time unless there are external factors. Salmon maybe but that is part of their lifecyle and part of the process of reproduction.

Birds on the other hand are a completely different story.  So far we have been presented with several explanations including;

 [8]They flew into power lines
 [8]The fireworks did it
 [8]They were drunk!
 [8]They flew into things
 [8]Hail in the upper atmosphere
 [8]Lighting strikes
 [8]Other adverse weather conditions

Now these all seem a little bit silly to say the least.  Why is it that no one in the reports has been interviewd that have an opinion that these deaths might be caused by;

 [8]Poisoning
 [8]Disease
 [8]Viri
 [8]Pollution
 [8]Or other man made causes

Logical interpretations as to what would cause a large numbers of deaths over a period of several hours seems to be painfully missing from the dis-information so far propagated about these deaths.

Strangely enough I have not seen any reports that God did this, and considering most people on the planet are religious I wonder why?  Most of the people on this forum would say well God didn't do it as that is not logical and your only saying that because there is no other explanation.  There are other explanations but they have been ignored and replaced by nonsense!
 

Offline Geezer

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #71 on: 13/01/2011 00:50:38 »
Sorry Airthumbs, but I think they got you  :D

By "they", I mean the media. What happened here was that one notable event attracted sufficient media interest that suddenly, any similar events were reported across the World. If it had not been for the initial event in the US, the other events probably would not have received any global attention at all.

I can't prove it, because I don't have the data, but I suspect similar bird deaths are not uncommon for a whole variety of reasons, but suddenly, thanks to The Associated Press, we are all "tuned in" and looking for means to relate what are more likely to be unrelated events.

 
 

Offline JP

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #72 on: 13/01/2011 02:38:34 »
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110107/ap_on_sc/us_sci_dead_wildlife_fact_check

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On average, 163 such events are reported to the federal government each year, according to USGS records.

That's just in the US, so it's no wonder that seemingly every day something's being reported somewhere.
 

Offline Don_1

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #73 on: 13/01/2011 11:49:52 »
Having seen the press reports and read statements by such bodies as the RSPB, I think perhaps we must accept that the original report on the Arkansas deaths did stir up the press. This has resulted in cases, which might otherwise have gone unreported, being given a high profile. This has resulted in us being made aware of, and concerned about, incidents which have been happening without our knowledge. It seems that these mass deaths are nothing new. But should this revelation bring us comfort, or should we be all the more concerned?

The question remains, why is it happening, are humans in any way to blame (or partly to blame) and if so, should we not be investigating these occurrences to find the cause and put our house in order to bring about an end to such mass deaths?

So far as I can see, nobody has given a satisfactory answer as to why these mass deaths occur. Personally, the dismissal of the whole affair with the explanation that it is 'a regular occurrence around the world' does nothing for me. Quite the contrary, I am now even more concerned.

We are concerned, and quite rightly so, over CCD in honey bees. 10's of millions of £'s/$'s are being spent on research into this catastrophic problem. But let's be honest, our main concern is not for the bees, but for the consequences to our agriculture. If these mass bird and fish deaths had a direct impact on our food, we would be concerned and huge sums would be allotted to research. But since there has been no impact on our food, governments seem to have taken little or no notice.

I would suggest that, if only for our own benefit, we should take a close look at these incidents before they do have a knock-on effect which might put our agriculture at risk. Who knows, perhaps these mass deaths and CCD are linked in some way, even if the incidents themselves are not.
 

Offline yamo

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What killed these birds?
« Reply #74 on: 15/01/2011 09:40:08 »
Could the answer here be extrapolated to explain the mass death of the dinosaur?
 

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What killed these birds?
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