Dozens of Dead Birds Fall from New Jersey Skies
More than a few New Jersey residents were unnerved this week when dozens of red-winged blackbirds fell dead from the skies. Residents of Millville,
New Jersey claimed to have seen birds falling directly from the sky as well as from treetops, landing already dead with a thud upon impact with the ground.
According to NJ.com, Michelle Cavalieri was taking her son for a walk Tuesday morning when she saw scores of birds fall from the sky onto the streets of her Peach Drive neighborhood.
“They would fall, then they would get back up and try to fly, and then they would fall on the ground again and were just paralyzed,” she said. “It was like a horror movie.”
The bizarre occurrence, however, wasn’t a sign of the apocolypse or any secret government experiment. Officials of Cumberland County report that the cause of the massive bird die-off was actually planned by a farmer at neighboring Ingraldi Farms.
Officials insist that the bird poisoning was both planned and legal in order to stop the critters from eating up all of the Farms profits by destroying its corn crop.
The owners of Ingraldi Farms had no comment on their actions, but did receive a permit to place a granular pesticide around their crop in order to have the birds eat it and die.
Here is the county’s press release on the incident:
The Department of Health reports that Monday evening Ingraldi Farms applied a granular pesticide intended and approved to cull birds, causing an unusually high volume of dead birds in the area of Ingraldi Farms and Whitemarsh Estates in Millville.
The material used; Avitrol Double Strength Corn Chops (EPA reg. # 11649-5) is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and intended to be used for bird control for Blackbirds, Brewer’s Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Grackles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Rusty Blackbird, Starlings and Yellow-Headed Blackbirds.
In the past, Ingraldi Farms has also used Avian Control (EPA reg. # 33162-1) a ready to use liquid repellent intended to be used for bird control for Geese, Gull, Pigeon, Crows, Starlings, House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Grackles and House Finches.
Ingraldi Farms is licensed through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to apply pesticides on their farms and has been working with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to alleviate the crop damage done by large flocks of birds. Remedies include auditory shock, hunting and pesticides. Ingraldi Farms has estimated a crop loss of $15,000 so far, due to the birds eating their crops.
Bird specimens have been collected and are being sent to the NJ-Department of Environmental Protection Laboratory for testing.