by Max Brantley
Interesting note in Baton Rouge newspaper's coverage of mass blackbird deaths Monday in Louisiana:
USGS spokesman Paul Slota said Monday afternoon he was unaware of the mass deaths in Louisiana, but he expects bird samples taken from the Arkansas occurrence on New Year’s Eve to arrive Tuesday in Wisconsin.
Slota also declined to speculate on a cause for the deaths, but he said a search of USGS records shows there have been 16 events in the past 30 years involving blackbirds where at least 1,000 of the birds have died seemingly all at once.
“These large events do take place,” he said. “It’s not terribly unusual.”