(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.

Just Posted

Photos from Kelowna’s 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Residents of Kelowna took on cancer in the rain and had a blast.

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Rockets lose to Blazers in nail-biting shootout

The Rockets came back to tie the game 2-2, but would ultimately lose in a nine-round shootout.

Okanagan brothers recognized with medals of bravery for saving four from drowning in 2013

The two brothers saved four from drowning after they were swept into the rough waters of Wood Lake.

Kelowna author releases 2nd book with stories of overcoming personal trauma

The launch for Diana Reyers’ Trauma to Recovery comes to Kelowna Sept. 21

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

Most Read