Friday 22 September 2017

75 starlings crashed to death

Mystery surrounds the death of 75 starlings after they crashed on to a driveway in Somerset
Mystery surrounds the death of 75 starlings after they crashed on to a driveway in Somerset

Mystery surrounds the death of 75 starlings after they crashed on to a driveway, an animal charity said.

The birds were spotted falling from the sky and on to the driveway of a house in Coxley, Somerset, on Sunday March 7.

RSPCA animal welfare officer Alison Sparkes was alerted to the unusual incident by the police and went to help.

She 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 on to 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."

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 the survivors had to be put to sleep by veterinary staff at the RSPCA's West Hatch Wildlife Centre, Taunton, Somerset, because of their severe injuries.

There is no evidence that the birds had been poisoned or were ill before they crashed into the ground.

Press Association

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