Madison smarties are really good with mysteriously dead birds

Sarah Dobs, Mike Paulus

"OMG, you guys! Watch out for that Waffle House sign!"

Wisconsinites should swell with pride after hearing recent news about all those (SUDDENLY!) dead blackbirds down in Arkansas. We’re a state gifted with incalculable talent in many genres – who else could be capable of answering this most perplexing of questions: "What the heck made all them birds get dead, anyhow?" Apparently, there’s none better than the smarties in Madison. JSOnline has the scoop:


They died of blunt-force trauma, according to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison. Samples of the blackbirds – and other blackbirds from a separate mass die-off about the same time in Louisiana – were brought to the little-known laboratory on Madison's west side for necropsies.

"They died of impact force to their bodies," said Scott Wright, chief of disease investigations at the center.

Due to the explodey explosions of some New Year's fireworks, the birds were frightened from their nests. At night, they're blind as bats at day, so the blackbirds ran into homes, cars, Waffle House signs, and other large items capable of breaking a blackbird’s neck. Thousands of birds (or about 125 pies-worth) lost their lives.

Previous, totally scientific and awesome theories of biblical apocalypses or humungous, invisible, bird-hating sky whales seemed to hold some merit  amongst the nation’s crazy people. However, this kind of  behavior among bird species is not uncommon. Again, from JSOnline:

"I fly into stuff all the time!"

"Storms, for instances, wreak havoc on bird populations. Birds are also vulnerable to chemical pollution and biological poisoning from natural toxins.

For the blackbird species alone, there have been 16 incidents in which 1,000 or more birds have died in single events over the past five years."

The Madison lab has actually been involved in discovering the cause of death in a wide range of animal populations across the world, making Wisconsin not only The Cheesehead State, but also The Here’s Why All These Animals Are Dead State. So the next time you find hundreds of randomly dead animals lying in the street, who you gonna call?