1,000 Turtle Doves Falling Dead in Italy

Overeating and indigestion? Hmmmh.

See also:

More Animal Death Mysteries Around The World

Quebec bird deaths stump wildlife officials

US: Mysterious Death of 2 Million Fish in Chesapeake Bay

Hundreds of Dead Snapper Fish Wash Up On New Zealand Beach

Thousands of Birds Fall Dead Out of the Sky in SOUTH AMERICA

US: Hundreds More Blackbirds Fall From The Sky – This Time in Louisiana

US: Up to 5,000 Blackbirds Fall Dead Out of The Sky, Autopsies Find No Poison

US: Up to 100,000 Fish Found Dead Along Arkansas River


Overeating and indigestion blamed for 1,000 turtle doves falling dead in Italy with strange blue stain on their beaks


Mystery solved: Rodolfo Ridolfi, from a zoological institute in Faenza, said indigestion was responsible for the recent deaths of 1,000 turtle doves

Thousands of dead turtle doves that rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town were victims of their on greed, an expert claimed today.

Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks.

Last night it emerged that 40 turtle doves had also been found dead at San Cesario near Modena, 60 miles from Faenza, and tests were also being carried out on their bodies.
he birds have been found by residents in the village for the last three days and they alerted authorities after hearing reports of the incident at Faenza.

Gianni Sereni, who found 12 birds in his garden, said: ‘At first I didn’t think anything of it but then I saw the reports on the news about what had happened elsewhere so I called the local veterinary service.’

Initial tests on up to 1,000 of the doves from Faezna indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.

Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, is known to cause confusion and illness in animals. It is also a common precursor to altitude sickness.

Gianni Sereni, who found 12 birds in his garden, said: ‘At first I didn’t think anything of it but then I saw the reports on the news about what had happened elsewhere so I called the local veterinary service.’

Official results on the Italian birds are due tomorrow, but Rodolfo Ridolfi, a director at the regional zoological institute, said:’We are fairly confident the birds died as a result of massive indigestion brought on by over-eating.

‘The most likely cause are discarded sunflower seeds that were found on an industrial estate close to where the bodies of the turtle doves were found.

‘In essence the birds were greedy, ate too many of the seeds – which we have found inside them during autopsies – and this brought on the indigestion that led to their death.’

Mr Ridolfi said that cold weather last week could have caused the turtle doves to die as the flock was swept into a high-altitude wind storm before falling to the earth.

It comes after two million dead fish were found to have washed up on shores in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

The alarming find is being blamed by authorities in Maryland on the stress caused by unusually cold water and overbreeding among spot fish.
That investigation comes just days after the deaths of an estimated 100,000 fish in northwest Arkansas, which is being blamed on disease.

A statement by the Maryland Department of the Environment said: ‘Natural causes appear to be the reason.

‘Cold water stress exacerbated by a large population of the affected species (juvenile spot fish) appears to be the cause of the kill.’

Preliminary tests of the water in Chesapeake Bay have showed the quality was acceptable, officials said.

The statement added: ‘The affected fish are almost exclusively juvenile spot fish, three to six inches in length.

‘A recent survey showed a very strong population of spot in the bay this year. An increased juvenile population and limited deep water habitat would likely compound the effects of cold water stress.’
Mass winter deaths among spot fish have occurred twice before in the Maryland area – in 1976 and 1980.

The incident is the latest mass animal death to hit the headlines in the last two weeks.

These include:

* 450 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings found littering a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
* 3,000 blackbirds on roofs and roads in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas
* Thousands of ‘devil crabs’ washed up along the Kent coast near Thanet
* Thousands of drum fish washed along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River
* Two million small fish in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
* Thousands of dead fish found floating in warm Florida creek
* Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand
* Scores of American Coots found dead on Texas highway bridge

Experts have speculated that New Year fireworks, thunderstorms, cold weather, parasites and even poisoning may be behind the deaths.

But conspiracy theorists have also speculated on the internet that secret government experiments could be behind them, with some even claiming it was a sign of a looming Armageddon at the end of the Mayan calendar next year.

Another theory is that the rapid movement of the Magnetic North Pole towards Russia may have affected the birds’ innate navigation systems.
Inbuilt navigation systems in birds and fish is believed to be affected by magnetism.

Scientists have said the Magnetic North Pole is shifting at an average of around 25 miles a year.

With birds and fish relying on it to travel to breeding grounds and warmed climes, there are fears that the shifting pole could be confusing the animals which means they do not migrate in time to avoid cold weather.

Tests are being carried out on the dead birds and fish, but results are not expected for several weeks.

Scientists have been baffled by the sudden deaths of hundreds of birds which have plummeted to the ground seemingly simultaneously in several locations.

Two hundred American Coots were found dead on a highway bridge crossing Lake O’ the Pines in Big Cypress Creek, Texas.

They are believed to have been hit by passing vehicles while walking or apparently trying to roost on the bridge.

Swedish experts blamed the shock of New Year fireworks for the unexplained deaths of 50 jackdaws found on a street in Falkoping, Sweden.

Many of the birds are believed to have died from stress or as a result of being run over while disoriented.

The largest incident took place in Beebe, Arkansas, were horrified revellers witnessed around 3,000 blackbirds crashing to their deaths into homes, cars and each other as they celebrated New Year.

Another 450 birds were found strewn along a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after apparently hitting overhead power lines.

In both cases, the birds are believed to have become confused and were flying at a lower height than usual.

The deaths of tons of fish across the globe is being attributed to unusually cold water.

Thousands of Brazilian fishermen have been left struggling to make ends meet after the sale of seafood was temporarily suspended when masses of fish were discovered in Paranaguá, Antonina and Guaraqueçaba Pontal do Paraná.

Fish were also discovered rotting and floating in Spruce Creek, Florida, after another period of cold weather.

100,000 drum fish were found strewn along the shore of the Arkansas River.

And the cold snap has been blamed for the deaths of 40,000 Velvet swimming crabs – known as ‘devil crabs – found littering beaches in Thanet, Kent.

By Nick Pisa
Last updated at 5:00 AM on 10th January 2011

Source: Daily Mail

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