More than 200 dead birds fell from the sky, hitting pedestrians and vehicles, say reports

A picture taken on January 17, 2017 shows a murmuration of starlings in the sky of Pontevedra, northwestern Spain.
A picture taken on January 17, 2017 shows a murmuration of starlings in the sky of Pontevedra, northwestern Spain. MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images
  • Over 200 dead starlings ‘rained’ from the sky in Ferrol, northwest Spain. 
  • The birds hit those walking along the streets, as well as vehicles, local media reported.
  • The cause of the die-off is not yet known.

The gruesome sight of more than 200 dead birds falling from the sky shocked locals in North-Western Spain as officials investigated the grim phenomenon. 

Local media outlet La Vos de Galicia describes the distressing scene, which occurred on December 3, of a flock of dead starlings falling from the sky, some hitting pedestrians and vehicles in Cara nza, Ferrol. 

The Spanish Department of Environment is now investigating the incident, with a collision with electrical wires thought to be the cause of the mass death possibly, but nothing has yet been confirmed.

 

Initial counts found more than 200 dead birds, but later others were found in nearby hospital gardens — where the birds reportedly often rested for the night — and under cars.

Antonio Martínez, a resident in the area, told La Vos de Galicia that he heard a crash, which he thought was thunder. Later, he looked outside to see his street strewn with dead birds.  

In February 2020, around 100 starlings were found dead in Tarragona, in the Catalonia region, after a chemical plant leak. 

A similar incident was seen last year in Wales, UK,  where more than 200 dead starlings lined a road. 

The deaths were thought to be caused by the birds swooping down while flying in a large flock and accidentally hitting the ground.

November and December are the migratory periods for starlings, as they fly across Northern Europe to travel to the UK for winter, according to the RSPB.