(Kevin Beech/Facebook)

Mystery of dead birds in B.C. city solved

Raptor expert says birds were being chased by predator, didn’t recover upon hitting concrete

The case of nearly 50 birds mysteriously dropping dead from the sky in Tsawwassen nearly two weeks ago has a much less supernatural ending than initially thought.

“A big flock of starlings came over the [ferry] causeway. [The flock] balled up and went down and then went up again, but the tail end of the ball hit the ground,” said Rob Hope, the raptor care manager at Delta’s Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.

“So all the birds died from trauma.”

READ MORE: ‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in Tsawwassen

The birds had been found by Kevin Beech on the evening of Sept. 14, as he was picking up a friend from the ferry.

Beech said he had seen about 40 birds lying dead on the ground, surrounded by “little pools of blood.”

Initially, it was believed the birds dropped out of the sky for no reason, but a necropsy revealed they were likely running away from a predator.

The wildlife society spoke to a witness who was there, who said there was a larger bird among the smaller starlings.

Hope said there were about 200 starlings in total, some of which came to and flew away after hitting the ground.

“They crashed into the ground, likely while running away from a falcon of some kind,” Hope said.

“And obviously you smack into the concrete, it’s going to cause some damage.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Cookie’s Grill owners help Meals on Wheels keep rolling in Chilliwack

Colleen and Colin Connolly are working hard to get food to seniors and others in need of a good meal

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Vehicle crash leaves 1,200 Chilliwack BC Hydro customers in the dark

Motor vehicle incident involving power pole could leave Fairfield Island residents in dark until 7:30 p.m.

Organ donation gives Fraser Valley RCMP officer a second chance at life

Cathleen Falebrinza celebrates Green Shirt Day after receiving a double lung transplant in 2016.

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Most Read