More details about Beebe blackbird deaths

    7:03 PM, Jan 2, 2012   |    comments
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    BEEBE, Ark. (KTHV) - Police in Beebe continue investigating the deaths of hundreds of blackbirds - deaths they describe as no accident and no coincidence.

    Monday, authorities took us to the location where they say someone targeted the birds, trying to create a repeat of last New Year's Eve.
    Along the new stretch of road inside the quiet Windwood subdivision, Beebe police say someone targeted hundreds of blackbirds roosting for the night.

    Lt. Brian Duke says, "It appears that it was an intentional act to spook the black birds in an attempt to recreate last year. They were successful, just on quite a bit smaller scale."

    Duke says they uncovered solid proof. At around 7:00 Saturday night, Duke says someone shot what he calls a mass amount of high-powered fireworks at the unsuspecting birds in the field. Some of the debris still litters the ground.

    "Well, we don't have any suspect information at this time, as far as who set it off," Duke says.

    It's likely, we're told like last year, fireworks startled the birds sending them flying into each other, trees and buildings. The cause of death is believed to be blunt force trauma. This year's intentional incident, though, you might be surprised to learn, is likely not illegal.

    Duke says, "Technically they were not violating any laws. There is an ordinance stating that they can shoot fireworks. Whether or not these people knew the police department had asked them not to shoot fireworks or not, I can't answer that. Nobody can."

    Authorities say finding the person is going to be very difficult, and word of mouth could be their only lead.

    The red-winged blackbirds are known to roost in the Beebe area this time of year. The deaths of those thousands of birds last new year's made headlines around the world, as people speculated on the cause.

    Again, wildlife experts eventually determined New Year's Eve fireworks spooked them, but people didn't do it on purpose. Researchers at Cornell University say they are strong, agile fliers but an Arkansas Game and Fish spokesperson says they don't see very well.

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