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Whodunnit?: Hundreds of Thousands of Birds Fell Out Of The Sky In Southwest And Now We Know Why

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Birds mysteriously dropping dead across U.S. southwest
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In Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1963 horror film, The Birds, our avian cousins abruptly and for no apparent reason turned hostile and began attacking humans. It is based on a story by Daphne du Maurier.

I fear that in 2020, humans turned the tables on a vast scale.

In August, masses of migratory songbirds fell out of the sky at White Sands, New Mexico. This was eerie, since it is the site of a top secret military base. Sort of Area 51, Nevada, territory.

Then a major cold snap hit the whole southwest on September 9-10, and hundreds of thousands of birds fell out of the sky all over the southwest. This is not normal. In fact is is just about the definition of abnormal. There are cold snaps all the time, but they don't usually commit bird genocide.

KVIA ABC-7 Sept 16, 2020: "Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds found dead in New Mexico"

So assuming they weren't being mown down by UFOs, what was happening to the birds?

Already in early December, the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center and University of New Mexico researchers concluded that the birds starved to death while flying, hunger eating away at their muscle mass until they just plopped out of the sky.

Now Samuel Gilbert at the Guardian reports that the USGS National Wildlife Health Center has performed a necropsy on the bird corpses, and found that 80% of them had died of starvation.

There were three causes. The most immediate cause was that September cold snap, which was the straw that broke the camel's back. Already severely malnourished, the birds were polished off by the unusually severe cold on their southerly migration route.

The chain of that causation was the Great 2020 drought throughout the Southwest that lasted most of this year.

Birds mysteriously dropping dead across U.S. southwest
Birds mysteriously dropping dead across U.S. southwest
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The drought killed the plants and insects that the birds normally ate, leaving them emaciated and unable to deal with severe weather events.

A problem: the Great 2020 drought was only the latest chapter in what is so far a 21-chapter book. The name of the book? The anthropogenic or man-made Megadrought.

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

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