As the world is still battling the fallout due coronavirus infected more than 29.9M, killed 941K people around the world, a report claims that not only human but also birds have also received it share in 2020 as hundreds of thousands of migratory birds have been found dead across New Mexico In a mysterious incident.
Sparking concerns among researchers who are left scrambling for answers. Dead birds have also been spotted in Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. The dead birds include various insect-eating birds such as sparrows, blackbirds, warblers and bluebirds, flycatchers, and the western wood pewee.
While there is no confirmed theory as to what is causing the deaths, experts think it is possible that it’s due to a cold front that hit New Mexico last week, recent droughts, or the massive wildfires in the West, Forbes reported.
“It’s just terrible. The number is in the six figures. Just by looking at the scope of what we’re seeing, we know this is a very large event, hundreds of thousands and maybe even millions of dead birds, and we’re looking at the higher end of that,” NMSU biologist Martha Desmond told CNN.
NMSU avian ecologist Allison Salas reiterated the same and wrote in a tweet, “We have very little data, but suspect that the west coast fires, in combination with the local cold front we experienced last week, has altered the migration patterns of many migrants.”
“The birds seem to be in relatively good condition, except that they are extremely emaciated. They have no fat reserves and barely any muscle mass. Almost as if they have been flying until they just couldn’t fly anymore,” she further explained.
It was on August 20 that a large number of dead birds was first discovered at the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range and White Sands National Monument. It was thought to be an isolated incident initially, however, when numbers started spreading statewide, an alarm was raised.
The birds will be sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon for necropsies which may help determine a cause of death.