First sign of an apocalyptic year to come? Thousands of blackbirds fall to their death in Arkansas town for second New Year's Eve in a row
Ancient Mayan legend says that 2012 will bring the end of the world.
A small Arkansas town might have shown the first example of that as approximately 5,000 blackbirds dropped dead from the sky last night in the early hours of the new year.
As if the incident was not strange enough, it is the second time in two years that the birds have fallen as the calendar year changes.
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On the streets: Estimates put the dead bird count well into the thousands
Clean up crew: Town workers were not expecting this job when they went to bed last night, but were awoken early in the morning with the task
'I thought the Mayor was messing with me when he called me,' said Milton McCullar, the street department supervisor in Beebe, Arkansas.
'He got me up at 4:00 in the morning and told me we had birds falling out of he sky.' Mr McCullar told ABC News.
Given the amount of birds and the condensed time and location of their deaths, there has to be some commonality behind the bizarre event, but scientists remain baffled.
The fact that the birds were even flying in the middle of the night makes no sense because that is not something that they are trained to do.
Bizarre: Scientists haven't come up with any solid explanations
'Most of these birds don’t see any better at night than you or I do. They aren’t adapted to see at night like owls so if they went off from their perches at night they're blind at night just like you would be' said Dr Kevin McGowan, an ornithologist from Cornell University.
Initially, last year's deaths were blamed on celebratory fireworks, with people thinking that the birds were startled to death.
Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Brandon Doss examines dead red-winged blackbirds from last year's mass deaths
One of thousands of birds that died after last year's New Year's Eve celebration in Bee,e Arkansas
A flash hail storm or massive lightning strikes were all discussed as possibilities as well.
All three theories have been debunked, however, as the weather was calm in Arkansas last night and police even imposed an impromptu firework ban in an effort to prevent it from happening again.
'I called the police department and told them "I'm not drunk, I'm not on drugs" and she immediately said "Oh you're calling about the birds?" and I was like "Uh yeah!"' resident Jeff Drennan told ABC.
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