(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

Canada Finance Minister to promote budget in Kelowna

Bill Morneau will speak in Kelowna

Trees removed from southeast Kelowna to mitigate wildfire risk

Projects are ongoing across the province to reduce the risk of wildfire

RCMP arrest two break-in suspects in East Kelowna

A vigilant resident reported suspicious activity leading to the arrests

Wedding rings and gold chain stolen from around Central Okanagan senior’s neck

Kelowna Mounties are warning the public after two thieves targeted a senior

Big White Ski Resort confident in avalanche prevention measures

Ski Patrol runs checks throughout day to promote safety on mountain

Silver Star avalanches not scaring off skiers

Putnam Creek Hill remains closed, but front side of the mountain runs are fully operational

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Behind the mask of the South Okanagan furries community

Penticton furries community member said it’s not a sexual thing

Trailer Park Boy brings Cheeseburger Tour to Okanagan

Randy performs at Vernon’s Status Nightclub Friday, with Kelowna comics

NHL alumni and Canadian country music stars gearing up for Okanagan charity extravaganza

A two-day May weekend event combines, hockey, golf, country music and a whole lot of fun

Okanagan College accepting students to new Tourism Management Diploma

The program will be offered out of the Revelstoke campus this September

Demand for mental health services increasing with acceptance

Support organization sees growing waitlist, particularly for youth and families with children

Okanagan woman gets 14 days in jail for crash that sent motorcycle rider to hospital for months

The motorcycle rider had to relearn to walk after the 2017 crash

Most Read