For the second year in a row, dozens of blackbirds died overnight Saturday in Beebe, Arkansas, apparently after being startled by New Year's Eve fireworks, an official with the state's Game and Fish Commission said Sunday.
Tests will be conducted to determine the official cause of death, said Ginny Porter with the Arkansas Game and Fish commission. Porter said between 50 and 80 birds were reported dead.
Beebe, about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock, is an area through which the birds migrate and is home to a large roost. The fireworks set off Saturday were located near the south side of the roost, according to Porter. Blackbirds have poor night vision and do not typically fly at night, according to the game commission.
A much larger bird kill was reported in Beebe last New Year's Eve when about 5,000 birds were found dead in a square-mile area. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma after the otherwise healthy birds became disoriented and flew into stationary objects such as trees and buildings.