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Monday, January 08, 2007

Dead Birds in Austin

News story here. The city has closed down a large area of downtown Austin after "as many as 60" dead birds were found on Congress Avenue. This is a commercial area with few native birds, mostly Rock Pigeons, European Starlings, and House Sparrows. Great-tailed Grackles are the only native species common in this part of town, and often form large roosts in street trees. My guess, is that somebody got sick of the birds and put out some poisoned grain. That's the most likely way to kill a large number of ground-feeding birds in a small urban area. The hazard suits that workers are wearing and the street and building closures are perhaps an over-reaction based on bird flu and bioterrorism scares. A Google News Search is a good way to keep up to date on strange stories like this.

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