Search Menu

The Birds: An Illustrated Avian Murder Mystery

The Birds: An Illustrated Avian Murder Mystery

It didn't take long for 2011 to give birth to its first News of the Majorly Weird: just before midnight on New Year's Eve, for no discernible reason, several thousand red-winged blackbirds fell out of the sky near Beebe, Arkansas. The mass death prompted immediate media attention, alarm and confusion among wildlife experts, a spate of conspiracy theories, and—of course—multiple spontaneous renditions of the popular nursery rhyme "Song of Sixpence," with the words changed to "Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a DIE!"

Or maybe that was just in the SparkNotes office.

But anyway! While experts have offered several ideas about what might have happened to the birds, we've come up with some theories of our own... and we think they're REALLY SMART. What caused thousands of birds to fall out of the sky? How about...

Theory #1: Peer Pressure
We've all been there; some popular kid wants to make trouble, his idea snowballs into a trend, and the next thing you know, your friends are all like, "C'mon, why don't you fall out of the sky with us? Huh? What are you, scared?!" Perhaps these birds fell victim to the same fate.

Theory #2: It's God's Fault
We're not saying that God killed the birds on purpose. But if the omnipotent uberdude popped up between a pair of cumulonimbus formations at the wrong time, the consequences might have been dire.

Theory #3: Forgetfulness
Is it possible that all these birds just forgot how to fly? It seems unlikely, but then again, their brains are the size of pistachios.

Theory #4: Magnets
We know what you're thinking: "How could a magnet cause birds to fall out of the sky? Birds aren't made out of metal!" And to you we say, ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?

Theory #5: It's All A Big Joke

Why do YOU think these birds took the plunge?

Related post: Why Angry Birds Is Awesome

Topics: Life
Tags: news, new year's eve, mysteries, birds, new year

Write your own comment!

About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email