Mystery surrounds the death of 75 starlings that crashed to the ground and died on the driveway of a house in Coxley, Somerset. The birds were spotted falling from the sky on March 7.

Mystery surrounds the death of 75 starlings that crashed to the ground and died on the driveway of a house in Coxley, Somerset. The birds were spotted falling from the sky on March 7.

Dead starlingsRSPCA animal welfare officer (AWO) Alison Sparkes was alerted to the unusual incident by police and attended the scene, where she discovered that most of the birds had suffered broken beaks, broken legs and wings and abdominal injuries, but were otherwise in good bodily condition.

All but five of the birds were dead and, sadly, even these survivors had to be euthanised by veterinary staff at the RSPCA’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, due to their severe injuries.

Alison said: “It was a remarkable sight and I’ve never seen anything like it before. Onlookers said they heard a whooshing sound and then the birds just hit the ground. They had fallen onto the ground in quite a small area, about 12 feet in diameter.

“They appeared to be in good condition other than injuries that they appear to have suffered when they hit they ground. Our best guess is that this happened because the starlings were trying to escape a predator such as a sparrow hawk and ended up crash landing.”

According to the RSPCA, there was no evidence that the birds had been poisoned or were ill before they crashed into the ground.

 

Image © RSPCA
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