Dozens of birds fall from sky in Boston, dead from unknown cause

32 songbirds and two cats die prompting health officials to launch an investigation

Dozens of birds have mysteriously fallen out of the sky in Boston, prompting health officials to launch an investigation.

A total of 47 grackles rained down upon the Dorchester neighbourhood of Boston on Thursday.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston said that 32 of these birds died, either at the scene or afterwards as rescuers attempted to tend to them. The remaining birds are in "good condition" and will be sent to a wildlife centre in Grafton, Massachusetts.

The Animal Rescue League said it also gave “emergency treatment” to a cat at the scene, but it died. Another cat also reportedly died, with homeowners advised to keep their cats and dogs indoors and check what they are eating.


“When I arrived, birds would fly, like from a house to a tree, they would flop in the tree and they would fall to the ground,” said Alan Borgal of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. “The weaker ones were just falling right out the sky.”

City officials have sent the dead grackles, which are a type of songbird that travels in flocks, to Tufts University to help determine the cause of death. It is currently unclear whether the birds perished due to a virus, some sort of environmental pollution or intentional poisoning. Test results are expected next week.

“We don’t know what is going on,” said John Meaney of the city of Boston’s Inspectional Services. “So we are investigating all avenues.”

Local resident Willien Pugh told the Boston Herald that his cat Sally B was found dying on the back porch as deceased birds fell from the sky.

“We took the cat from outside and we thought it was a girl so we named it Sally - then when we took it to the vet, we found out it was a boy, so we started calling her Sally B,” Pugh said. “Real good cat.”

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