Dead birds lie on the ground after being thrown off the roof of a home by a worker with United States Environmental Services LLC in Beebe, Ark., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo) By Associated Press
BEEBE, Ark. (AP) -- Wildlife experts are trying to solve an apocalyptic-type mystery: Why did nearly 3,000 red-winged blackbirds tumble from the Arkansas sky on New Year's Eve?
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says laboratories in Arkansas, Georgia and Wisconsin will examine some carcasses starting Monday. Results could be back in a week.
Commission spokesman Keith Stephens says the birds fell in an area about a mile long and a half-mile wide. Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe says the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail, or may have been startled by fireworks.
It's not the first time birds have dropped from the Arkansas sky. Lightning killed ducks at Hot Springs in 2001 and hail knocked birds from the sky at Stuttgart in 1973 on the day before hunting season.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)