Thousands of Fish Wash Up in Chicago and Hundreds of Birds Perish in California

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Thousands of herring-type fish dead along Chicago lakefront (Reuters)

Another mass death: Thousands of gizzard shad fish have washed up on banks of Chicago’s harbours

Thousands of gizzard shad fish have been washed up on Chicago’s harbours while more than 100 dead birds have been found clustered on a California highway.

The two instances appear to be a continuation of the strange mass animal deaths that have struck in the past fortnight – in America and elsewhere.

However Lake Michigan Program biologist Dan Makauskas said that gizzard shad are not a very tough variety of fish and are more sensitive to drops in oxygen levels than most fish.

Mr Makauskas suggested that the young fish may not have built up enough reserves to withstand the early onslaught of extreme cold that hit the area.

Canada geese and mallard ducks have eaten many of the dead fish.

Meanwhile, California wildlife officials are attempting to work out what caused the death of more than 100 birds found clustered together just off Highway 101.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that California Highway Patrol officers found the dead birds near the roadway on Saturday and called in the state Department of Fish and Game to investigate.

The officers who found the birds described them as small with brown and black feathers.

They were intact and had not been shot.

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:44 AM on 12th January 2011

Full article: Daily Mail

US: Hundreds of Dead Blackbirds Found Along I-65 In Athens

And the explanations get better and better.

All the birds falling out of the sky had clear signs of trauma too.

About 300 dead blackbirds were found along I-65 in Athens on Wednesday morning. (Carson Clark, WHNT NEWS 19 / January 12, 2011)

ATHENS, AL — Wednesday morning, we got a handful of emails and phone calls from viewers who said there appeared to be a massive bird kill on the side of Interstate 65 in Limestone County. That’s exactly what we found when we got there.

Just south of Athens, near mile marker 347, there were around 300 dead blackbirds just off the side of the northbound lanes.

The viewers who called us said the birds seemed to just fall from the sky, but we spoke to a wildlife biologist at the scene who says there is an explanation for what happened.

“What it appears to us right now is that the birds were feeding alongside the road,” said Mitchell Marks. “The flock flushed, flew out into a vehicle and we’ve got this kill here along the road.”

All of the dead birds had clear signs of trauma, but Marks collected a few to examine them.

Read moreUS: Hundreds of Dead Blackbirds Found Along I-65 In Athens

Australian Floods Reach ‘Biblical Proportions’

Added: 3. Januar 2011

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Australia is experiencing one of the worst floods in the past 70 years. BBC says the flooding has reached ‘biblical proportions.’

“Even in a land as vast as Australia the scale of the flooding is hard to comprehend. In central Queensland, murky brown flood waters cover an area the size of Germany and France combined.”

Al Jazeera reports the residents of local towns don’t seem to have any miracles coming their way any time soon.

“The water has gone down, but the trouble we have here is that all the dams on every tributary are actually full. So if we were to another 200 millimeters of rain like we did on the night before the flood — things could turn nasty quite quickly.”

Read moreAustralian Floods Reach ‘Biblical Proportions’

Australia Floods: Dramatic Queensland Videos

Added: 10. Januar 2011

At least four are dead after flash floods swept through Toowoomba, carrying away cars and people.

Flash Flood in Queensland Australia Sweeps Cars Away

Added: 10. Januar 2011

Rapid flash flooding in Toowoomba, Queensland sweeps several cars downstream. The death toll is currently at 8 with 72 missing due to the ‘inland tsunami’. This flood is said to be a 1 in 100 year event. The damage bill of the flooding is currently over $5billion, but the human cost is what is more important.

Australia Floods: Food Prices to Rise 30% – 50% of Crops Affected, With 20% Wiped Out

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Cotton Jumps by Limit Amid Australia Floods (BusinessWeek):

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) — Cotton prices jumped the most allowed by ICE Futures U.S. after the worst floods in half a century damaged crops in Australia, the world’s fourth-largest exporter.

Officials have warned that the disaster may last for weeks

(BBC NEWS) — Food prices in Australia could rise by as much as 30% in the coming months as a result of the Queensland floods, it has been warned.

The investment bank JP Morgan says it expects food prices to spike, which will also push up headline inflation.

The bank’s chief economist in Australia said 50% of crops had been affected by the floods, with 20% wiped out.

Stephen Walters also told the BBC that rises in Australia could have a knock-on impact on prices in Asia.

JP Morgan also said that coal mining had been significantly damaged and estimated that the floods would shave 0.4% off GDP growth in the last quarter of 2010 and the first three months of 2011.

The worst floods to hit Queensland for more than 50 years have left 10 people dead and more than 70 missing.

Read moreAustralia Floods: Food Prices to Rise 30% – 50% of Crops Affected, With 20% Wiped Out

Germany: Melting Snow Floods Rivers

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Water Levels Stabilize along Rhine, Mosel Rivers (Spiegel Online)

German cities flooded after thaw (BBC News)

Winter thaw swells German rivers after weekend deaths (Deutsche Welle)

The area around the statue of German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm is flooded where the rivers Rhine and Mosel meet at the “Deutsche Eck” in Koblenz, Germany, Monday, Jan.10,2010. Melting snow and rain cause floodings along various rivers all over Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) (Michael Probst – AP)

BERLIN — Mild temperatures melted record December snowfalls across Germany, causing rivers from the Rhine in the west to the Oder in the east to burst their banks, flooding fields and towns, turning streets into waterways, and leaving one person feared dead.

Officials were watching flood levels on the Rhine river in the city of Koblenz on Monday that were expected to peak at 25 feet, 4 inches (7 meters, 70 centimeters), and some low-lying parts of the city were under water.

Read moreGermany: Melting Snow Floods Rivers

1,000 Turtle Doves Falling Dead in Italy

Overeating and indigestion? Hmmmh.

See also:

More Animal Death Mysteries Around The World

Quebec bird deaths stump wildlife officials

US: Mysterious Death of 2 Million Fish in Chesapeake Bay

Hundreds of Dead Snapper Fish Wash Up On New Zealand Beach

Thousands of Birds Fall Dead Out of the Sky in SOUTH AMERICA

US: Hundreds More Blackbirds Fall From The Sky – This Time in Louisiana

US: Up to 5,000 Blackbirds Fall Dead Out of The Sky, Autopsies Find No Poison

US: Up to 100,000 Fish Found Dead Along Arkansas River

Overeating and indigestion blamed for 1,000 turtle doves falling dead in Italy with strange blue stain on their beaks

Mystery solved: Rodolfo Ridolfi, from a zoological institute in Faenza, said indigestion was responsible for the recent deaths of 1,000 turtle doves

Thousands of dead turtle doves that rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town were victims of their on greed, an expert claimed today.

Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like ‘little Christmas balls’ with strange blue stains on their beaks.

Last night it emerged that 40 turtle doves had also been found dead at San Cesario near Modena, 60 miles from Faenza, and tests were also being carried out on their bodies.
he birds have been found by residents in the village for the last three days and they alerted authorities after hearing reports of the incident at Faenza.

Gianni Sereni, who found 12 birds in his garden, said: ‘At first I didn’t think anything of it but then I saw the reports on the news about what had happened elsewhere so I called the local veterinary service.’

Initial tests on up to 1,000 of the doves from Faezna indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.

Read more1,000 Turtle Doves Falling Dead in Italy

Australia: More Rain And New Storms Worsens Floods – Floods Raise Fears of Wheat Shortage

More rain worsens floods in Australia (AP):

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Almost a foot (300 millimeters) of rain in just a few hours renewed flood fears in Australia’s already waterlogged Queensland state Saturday, sending a surging river over its banks and into another large town.

Officials said about only 20 buildings in Maryborough, where about 22,000 people live, were expected to be flooded after the river burst its banks in the overnight downpour. The waters were expected to peak on Sunday.

“A number of businesses … will have floodwaters in their basements,” Mayor Mick Kruger said.

But the new flooding was a reminder that the state has almost no capacity to absorb more heavy rains after weeks of drenching tropical weather submerged an area the size of Germany and France combined.

Australia floods: new storms hit flood region (Telegraph):

Heavy rains fell in eastern Australia on Thursday, bringing fresh misery to flood-hit communities as the mayor of the flooded city of Rockhampton warned it could take up to a year to recover from the worst flooding in decades.

Australian floods raise fears of wheat shortage (Telegraph):

US wheat futures rose heavily yesterday as concerns grew that Australian wheat growers will be unable to deliver their harvests as a result of the devastation. Australia is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wheat after the USA, Canada and Russia.

At the Chicago Board of Trade, the price of wheat for March delivery rose over 3pc, at one point hitting $8.25 (£5.30) a bushel, the highest since last August. Warnings over impending cold weather in the US were also cited as reasons for the rise.

More Animal Death Mysteries Around The World

Quebec bird deaths stump wildlife officials (Toronto Sun):

MONTREAL — More than 80 pigeons have keeled over and died at a farm near Quebec City for unknown reasons, the latest in a string of mysterious animal deaths around the world.

Environmental officials in the province say there’s no connection to a similar case in Arkansas, but Sylvain Turmel is wondering why he’s been picking up dead pigeons for more than two weeks on his farm in Saint-Augustine-de-Desmaures.

The first dead bird was found on Dec. 18. He’s since found more bodies on his roof and inside the barn.

“I was stunned,” he said.

“I went to see my tenant to ask whether he’d been feeding them poison. He ended helping me pick up 25 corpses. In the time it took us to collect them, five more had fallen. Authorities thought it might be gas. But that’s not possible.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said tests are currently being performed at the animal pathology lab in the provincial capital.

“The cause right now isn’t known,” said Nicolas Begin. “It’s not related to what happened in the U.S. (But) we don’t see this sort of thing every day and we’re treating this as a serious matter.”

See also:

US: Mysterious Death of 2 Million Fish in Chesapeake Bay

Hundreds of Dead Snapper Fish Wash Up On New Zealand Beach

Thousands of Birds Fall Dead Out of the Sky in SOUTH AMERICA

US: Hundreds More Blackbirds Fall From The Sky – This Time in Louisiana

US: Up to 5,000 Blackbirds Fall Dead Out of The Sky, Autopsies Find No Poison

US: Up to 100,000 Fish Found Dead Along Arkansas River

(Click on image to enlarge.)

  • Thousands of fish found floating in Florida after cold snap

  • 200 birds found dead on highway bridge in Texas
  • 50 dead jackdaws found on city street in Sweden
  • 100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish wash up dead on Brazilian coast

  • Hundreds of fish dead in New Zealand

  • And in Britain, 40,000 devil crabs join list of casualties

More and more animals are being found dead as the mysterious spate of mass bird and fish deaths has turned into a global phenomenon.

The latest two separate incidents saw thousands of fish found floating in a creek in Florida and 200 birds found dead on a highway bridge in Texas.

Experts were yesterday carrying out tests on around 50 jackdaws found dead in a street in Falkoping, Sweden, that appear to have suffered the same fate as thousands of their cousins who fell from the sky in separate incidents in the U.S.

Swedish experts have said the shock of fireworks being let off near the city, in the south-east of the country, and difficulty finding food may have led to the deaths of the jackdaws.

Many of the birds are believed to have died from stress or as a result of being run over by vehicles while disoriented.

And scientists have also been left baffled by at least 100 tons of sardines, croaker and catfish washing up dead along the Brazil coastline near Paranaguá.

There were more fish deaths reported today in New Zealand, while in England, the carcasses of 40,000 devil crabs are strewn across a beach in Kent.

Hundreds of dead starlings and robins were found scattered in backyards in the Kentucky town of Gilbertsville while an estimated two million dead fish have washed ashore in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

They are the latest in a spate of incidents which are being blamed on New Year fireworks, thunderstorms, cold weather, parasites and even poisoning.

The internet has been abuzz with conspiracy theories about secret government experiments being behind the deaths, or it being a sign of a looming Armageddon at the end of the Mayan calendar next year.

The mass deaths include:

  • 450 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings found littering a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 3,000 blackbirds on roofs and roads in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas
  • Thousands of ‘devil crabs’ washed up along the Kent coast near Thanet
  • Thousands of drum fish washed along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River
  • Tens of thousands of small fish in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
  • Thousands of dead fish found floating in warm Florida creek
  • Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand
  • Scores of American Coots found dead on Texas highway bridge

Tests are being carried out on the dead animals, but results are not expected for several weeks.

Thousands of Brazilian fishermen are struggling to make ends meet after the sale of seafood was temporarily suspended when masses of fish were discovered dead in Paranaguá, Antonina and Guaraqueçaba Pontal do Paraná.

Experts have speculated that cold weather or chemical leaks could be behind the deaths.

Read moreMore Animal Death Mysteries Around The World