Officials are investigating why more than 1,000 birds - most of them dead - fell out of the sky in the US state of Arkansas on New Year's Eve.
The Arkansas Fish and Game Commission (AFGC) said it began receiving reports of the falling birds at about 2330.
By midnight, more than 1,000 red-winged blackbirds had fallen in one area of the city of Beebe.
The birds could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail, said AFGC ornithologist Karen Rowe.
About 65 dead birds have been sent off for scientific analysis to determine the cause of death.
It does not appear as though the birds were poisoned, Ms Rowe said.
"Since it only involved a flock of blackbirds and only involved them falling out of the sky, it is unlikely they were poisoned, but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin," she said.
Tornadoes swept through Arkansas and neighbouring states on 31 December, killing seven people.
However, the AFGC did not say whether the blackbird deaths could also be attributed to the storms. ...
via BBC News - More than 1,000 blackbirds fall out of Arkansas sky.
Autopsies will begin Monday in laboratories in Arkansas, Georgia and Wisconsin, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which is heading up the investigation.
It may take a week for results to come in.
For now, investigators are scratching their heads at the strange phenomenon. Between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on New Year's Eve, about 1,000 birds fell from the sky in Beebe, Ark.
Karen Rowe, an ornithologist with the AGFC, suggested lightning, high-altitude hail or celebratory fireworks may have played a role.
Horace Taylor, an animal control officer in Beebe, told CTV's Canada AM he believes the birds were scared into flight by fireworks. Because they have limited night vision, the birds then simply started to fly into objects and each other.
"We're pretty sure it's fireworks that caused it," Taylor said.
"The birds were frightened, they started flying and flying into one another, running into trees, houses, cars and everything they could hit, and it killed them, that's what I think happened."
The dead birds -- which have all been collected -- fell in an area about 1.5 kilometres long by 800 metres wide...