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Large Flock of Blackbirds Fall From Sky in New Jersey

Stow Creek, New Jersey – 200 red winged blackbirds fell from the sky on a typical cool but sunny day in November 2016. The dead bird shower only lasted a few moments, but it left local officials baffled. What caused this flock to simply die mid-flight, and rain down upon the small town? 

Larry Hajna, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stated in an interview with,

They just fell from the sky…We did ascertain that the birds suffered trauma and internal bleeding from hitting the ground, but what made them fall from the sky in the first place…we can’t say for certain.

This was the second time in less than three weeks that a large die off of birds occurred in the area, however, the last incident involved only a couple dozen birds.

Courtesy AP

Courtesy AP

Local environmental officials removed the birds, and sent some to the state laboratory to be tested. The results were inconclusive. Samples of wheat in a nearby field were also sent for tests to the University of Pennsylvania. The farmer who owned the field told officials that the seed had been sprayed with the common fungicides and insecticides. However, these chemicals are not harmful to birds, nor are they used to control bird populations. Hajna stated,

We have determined that the deaths were not caused by pesticides commonly known to be toxic to wildlife and not likely caused by compounds reported in wheat seed planted in an agricultural field.

So what killed these birds? No one seems to know.  Large scale animal deaths occur quite frequently. In September 2016, a massive flock of birds fell out of the sky over Boston, and in June of 2015, the same occurred in Idaho. Most recently, off the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada, scores of dead fish and other sea creatures were found washed up on a beach.

Most theories concerning these die offs include environment pollution, unknown pathogens, and even shifts in the Earth’s magnetic field. On the more mysterious side, some claim these die offs are caused by secret biological weapons testing, weather manipulation contrails from aircraft, paranormal phenomena, and even a sign that the ‘end of days’ is fast approaching.


It’s the end of the world as we know it?

While officials are unsure as to what killed these blackbirds, there is something inherently scary about hundreds of birds, especially blackbirds, falling out of the sky like a rain shower and ending up dead on the road. It seems to raise a whole collection of archetypal fears. In many cultures, blackbirds are the symbolic link between this world and the eternal, a representation of the human soul, and having a whole bunch of them suddenly smash into the pavement one sunny day really messes with one’s existential self.

Blackbird fly…


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  • NHScst

    Stow Creek isn’t so much a town as it is a very rural crossroads in Southern NJ. There’s really no “town” to speak of; it’s pretty much just open farmland and some scattered houses near the divide of Cumberland and Salem counties. I lived in the area for 35 years, and had a very strange encounter there back in 1984.

    We were leaving very early one chilly April morning, around 4:00 AM, to go to the Englishtown Farmer’s Market, which is about 75 miles away. My friends were farmers in Stow Creek and would sell fresh asparagus that time of year, so we had to be there early to set up the stand before it opened. It was still dark, of course, when the three of us were just about to get in the truck, loaded with bushels of asparagus, to drive to Englishtown. All at once we heard a sound, I can only describe as a ‘swooshing’ sound, to our left. We looked over to the large, empty field on the other side of their back yard, and in the moonlight saw a giant black creature, wings spread, gliding to land in the field, which it did. It was about 150 feet away and we could clearly see its shape and silhouette. It was massive, standing upright like a human, about 8-10 feet tall with a wingspan of about 20 feet across. We kept our eyes on it as it retracted its wings on landing. We then watched it for about a minute, all of us in a bit of shock and disbelief, not sure what to do. It didn’t move from where it had landed, and I had the impression that it was staring back at us. One of us finally came to our senses and said “F*ck this!”, and we jumped in the truck, locked the doors and got the hell out of there.

    I no longer live in the area and lost contact with my friends long ago, but often wonder what it was that landed in that field. I wish we had tried to approach it, or at least attempted to get a closer look. I guess I’ll never know.

  • whalemind

    Not the fungicides or pesticides!? Not harmful to birds!?! Yeh, Ok, raaight…

  • matt

    they’re talking about the specific pesticides used in that particular wheat field, not pesticides in general