What killed these birds?

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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

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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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.

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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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.

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Offline JP

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« 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? 

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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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.

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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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 »

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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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.

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Offline JP

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« 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...?

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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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.

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Offline JP

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« 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. 

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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.

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Offline JP

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« 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.

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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?


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Offline QuantumClue

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« 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.

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Offline JP

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« 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?

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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.

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Offline Geezer

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

Say what?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline imatfaal

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« 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.
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Offline Variola

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« 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
  A potty-mouthed, impertinent female who thinks she is God's gift to men" -JimBob

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Offline Geezer

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« 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.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline Airthumbs

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« 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!
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)

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Offline Geezer

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« 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.

 
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline JP

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« 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.

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Offline Don_1

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« 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 Ł'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.
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Offline yamo

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« Reply #74 on: 15/01/2011 09:40:08 »
Could the answer here be extrapolated to explain the mass death of the dinosaur?
Science is what you want it to be.
                   --Dr. Leo Spaceman--

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #75 on: 15/01/2011 20:53:19 »
Could the answer here be extrapolated to explain the mass death of the dinosaur?

Probably only with extraextraextrapolation.  [:D]
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #76 on: 16/01/2011 03:09:33 »
I thought I had responded yesterday, but apparently it got lost.

Just be thankful it isn't ANOTHER mass die-off of Sperm Whales...  which makes a much nastier mess to clean up   [xx(]

I think there is an aspect of being over-reported due to occurring just after New Years, then hitting global news.

However, I am glad that government agencies are taking them seriously.  Hopefully storing some tissue from unresolved cases too, as we learn about new viruses and toxins every day.

In the 30's some astute researchers made some very important discoveries after local farmers brought cows in with internal hemorrhaging after eating moldy hay.
http://purplemedicalblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/coumadin-warfarin-how-farmers-moldy.html

A flock of birds would tend to all eat from a single food source.  So, if there were some bad berries or grains, every one might get some.  If it is a local issue, it might be very species selective in one area, but not carry over to another area.

There have been observed and predicted changes in Earth's magnetic field.  Will that cause mass bird die-offs?

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Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #77 on: 16/01/2011 12:38:05 »
I've been keeping a close eye on reports, as you will all know by now. There is more, and JP you might find this interesting. In a conversation with Jack Sarfatti, a quantum physicists he made a mention of statistics involving the dead birds, saying that there deaths surely cannot be a coincidence. A new report says, '' how long can scientists say this is a normal thing''

http://stardrive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3102:300-birds-fall-from-the-sky-in-alabama-how-much-longer-can-scientists-keep-saying-this-is-normal&catid=45:weird-desk&Itemid=103

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Offline JP

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« Reply #78 on: 16/01/2011 15:00:34 »
[???]

Despite the article title, the entire article is about how these deaths are pretty normal, and includes plenty of statistics and interviews supporting that. 

If you want to go to quantum physicists to argue about what caused the bird deaths, check out Michio Kaku on it.  Heck--I've published quantum physics research, and I'll weigh in to tell you that it's not an issue. 

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Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #79 on: 16/01/2011 15:03:47 »
Please don't tell me you agree with Kaku on this, the whole idea of mass suicide seems... unlikely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBMoRc7gfrc

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Offline JP

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« Reply #80 on: 16/01/2011 15:30:18 »
Did you bother to read either the article or watch the video before linking them?  Your posts recently have indicated that you aren't really reading what you're posting to understand it...

Kaku's "suicide" idea is that the lead bird of a flock got confused and crashed into something.  The whole flock instinctively follows him and crashes into something as well. 

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Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #81 on: 16/01/2011 15:33:20 »
Did you bother to read either the article or watch the video before linking them?  Your posts recently have indicated that you aren't really reading what you're posting to understand it...

Kaku's "suicide" idea is that the lead bird of a flock got confused and crashed into something.  The whole flock instinctively follows him and crashes into something as well. 

What kind of question is that? I am not half-hearted in this conversation or anything. I watched the video before I posted it, and I also read the link. Point is that his opinion doesn't make sense.

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #82 on: 16/01/2011 15:40:49 »
http://stardrive.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3102:300-birds-fall-from-the-sky-in-alabama-how-much-longer-can-scientists-keep-saying-this-is-normal&catid=45:weird-desk&Itemid=103

Is mass snow "normal" in Alabama?

I'm not sure if I've ever hit a bird in the car.  Sometimes I think it will be close, but they always slip aside.

But, I could imagine a flock of birds...  perhaps disoriented by the snow.  Perhaps hungry.  And, getting hit. 

Is it surprising to find animals dead beside a freeway that are reported to be killed by trauma?

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Offline QuantumClue

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« Reply #83 on: 16/01/2011 15:47:01 »
I don't know.

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #84 on: 17/01/2011 04:37:13 »
Is it surprising to find animals dead beside a freeway that are reported to be killed by trauma?

On our last trip to Washington, we must have seen 50 dead deer beside the highway that appeared to have been killed by "blunt force trauma".  Sometimes there were a couple of carcasses within a few feet of each other.  [B)]

I didn't seem to be indicative of a national emergency though.  [xx(]

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #85 on: 17/01/2011 13:11:04 »
On our last trip to Washington, we must have seen 50 dead deer beside the highway that appeared to have been killed by "blunt force trauma".  Sometimes there were a couple of carcasses within a few feet of each other.  [B)]

Just out of curiosity is that W... DC, W...State, or least likely W... Tyne and Wear.  If it was Tyne and Wear 50 dead deers would probably constitute a national emergency. 

Are the deer killed by trucks?  I would have thought if they were hitting family cars you would have also seen 50 car wrecks as well.
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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #86 on: 17/01/2011 18:36:23 »
On our last trip to Washington, we must have seen 50 dead deer beside the highway that appeared to have been killed by "blunt force trauma".  Sometimes there were a couple of carcasses within a few feet of each other.  [B)]

Just out of curiosity is that W... DC, W...State, or least likely W... Tyne and Wear.  If it was Tyne and Wear 50 dead deers would probably constitute a national emergency. 

Are the deer killed by trucks?  I would have thought if they were hitting family cars you would have also seen 50 car wrecks as well.

I suspect he's referring to WA. That's the one on the left coast of the US just below Canada.

We're pretty much inundated with whitetail deer around here (North Idaho). You really have to be prepared for them all the time when you are driving.

Unless you are driving really fast, a deer collision usually does not do too much damage to the vehicle, particularly if you are driving a pickup truck, but the deer seldom survive. Elk collisions are much worse, and moose collisions are frequently fatal to the occupants of the vehicle.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #87 on: 17/01/2011 22:44:27 »
Yes...
from Oregon up to central Washington State over Christmas.  I'm trying to remember where, but I think we saw most of the deer north of the Columbia...  and perhaps it was only a dozen or two.

A deer certainly can do significant damage to the plastic grills on a vehicle, but it certainly would all depend on the speed of the impact.  And in rural areas, people usually get their car going again, but leave the deer beside the road (I'm not sure why more don't end up as dinner, although it technically isn't legal to take it home).

Anyway, I was just commenting about the dead birds seen in Alabama (I think).  Whew, it looked cold down there.  But not many people get too excited about "road kill". 

I would have hated to be the driver that slammed into the flock of birds down there...  like a Hitchcock Nightmare. 

High numbers of Road Kill often means that there is a large population of living animals nearby.

I would blame some of it on odd weather patterns this last winter, not that I'm ready to accuse the weather patterns pummelling Europe and the Eastern USA is man-made.  And the migratory animals have to be stable enough to endure the occasional unpredictable weather pattern.

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #88 on: 18/01/2011 12:17:36 »
The reason that I mentioned car-wrecks was that my uncle's car was completed wrecked and written-off when he hit a red deer.  I did a quick wiki on the relative size of the deer concerned - red deer weigh about twice as much as white-tail, therein lies the problem when you hit one (as geezer mentioned with Elk/Moose).  Same Uncle had deer jump clean over moving car - no one believed him about that story until a few months later he wrote the car off hitting one.
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Offline yamo

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Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #90 on: 27/02/2011 00:47:03 »
I have it, the birds are so sick of the food they eat being full of chemicals and the taste is so bad they just decided to fly straight into the ground.  They most likely did this in the vain hope that they might be noticed but would be very disappointed to discover there martyrdom was for nothing as humans say that kind of behavior is normal!
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)