Viral video shows hundreds of birds fall from sky in Mexico

Predatory bird believed to be the cause of the strange phenomenon, experts say

Yellow-headed blackbirds. (Cortesía, Cortesía Policía de Álvaro Obregón.)

CHIHUAHUA, Mexico – A viral video showing hundreds of birds seemingly dropping from the sky has made the rounds on social media and left more questions than answers.

Surveillance video captures hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds in Chihuahua, Mexico fall from the sky simultaneously on Feb. 7.

The birds were heading south from Canada, where they spent the winter, according to NBC.

Video shows many of the birds were able to fly away but dozens died as a result of hitting the ground.

Experts told the Guardian the flock was most likely “flushed” from above by a predatory bird that was swooping down to make a catch, but the exact cause remains unclear.

Richard Broughton, an ecologist with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, told the Guardian that although he could not see a raptor in the footage, he was 99% sure it was caused by a predatory bird.

“There always seems to be a kneejerk response to blame environmental pollutants, but collisions with infrastructure are very common. In a tightly packed flock, the birds are following the movements of the bird in front rather than actually interpreting their wider surroundings, so it isn’t unexpected that such events happen occasionally,” senior lecturer in conservation biology at Manchester Metropolitan University Alexander Lees told the Guardian.

Watch the video below. Warning: the video could be graphic for some viewers.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.