Murphy’s Law – Possible reasons for those recent unexplained bird deaths

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

Unless you are simply convinced that this is the first sign of the Apocalypse and have begun stockpiling canned goods and weapons, most of you are probably wondering what the hell is going on with the bird population in this country.

First, an estimated 5,000 red-winged blackbirds and starlings died within a square-mile of each other in Arkansas, then 500 red-winged blackbirds, starlings and grackles were found dead in Louisiana. Top expert still are not sure what caused these mass deaths. The current theory is that perhaps a loud noise (like fireworks on New Year’s Eve) disoriented the birds, causing them to crash into each other. But, come on, does that really sound very convincing?

Birds must deal with loud noises all the time. This wasn’t their first New Year’s Eve. Something else must be going on here – something a little more sinister. And, if our 24-hour news cycle has taught me anything, it’s that the best thing to do when there are no satisfactory answers to a story is to wildly speculate and make unfounded accusations.

So, as a public service to those of you who are having trouble sleeping at night because of these unexplained bird deaths, I’ve come up with a list of possible explanations that I think you will find are a bit more satisfying than “loud noises.”

The birds were all on an epic New Year’s bender. It’s hard being a bird. You have to get up early if you want to catch the worm. (And who really wants to eat a worm anyway?) Your days are filled crapping on landmarks and begging old people on park benches for stale bread. Guys in orange vests are always taking shots at you. So I would think even the biggest teetotaler in the bird community would want to let loose and throw back a few Jagerbombs on New Year’s. Who’s to say these birds of a feather didn’t get smashed together? Perhaps their death is just a somber reminder of the importance of never drinking and flying.

They were tired of the bumblebees getting all the headlines. Bumblebees in the United States have been dying off at an alarming rate for some time now. Maybe the birds were simply tired of being overshadowed by the bees and decided to level the playing field.

They were all part of a suicide cult. Most humans believe the end times are coming in 2012 when the Mayan zombies rise up and attack us all, but perhaps in the bird community there was a belief that if they all sacrificed their lives together in the first week of 2011, they would end up in a bird paradise on some distant planet that had a limitless supply of free seeds, beautiful marble bird ponds for all and absolutely no glass windows to accidentally smack into while flying. The scientists investigating these deaths should check their blood for traces of Kool-Aid and their feet for tiny little pairs of Nikes.

Channing Tatum. That douche ruins everything he’s involved in – who’s to say he didn’t have a hand in this too?

They were rundown by an invisible plane. Maybe it is a new secret military plane being tested at night. Maybe Google is working on an invisible plane as a follow up to their cars that drive themselves. Maybe Wonder Woman was just out patrolling the mean streets of Arkansas. Whatever the case may be, these birds were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and sadly never stood a chance against those invisible jet engines.

Bird flu. That still exists, right? Maybe they were all just feeling a bit under the weather and collided into each other when trying to make it to the drug store for some Nyquil.

It’s clearly a government conspiracy … for some reason. I don’t think you need a tinfoil hat and the complete X-Files box set to see what’s really going on here. Clearly, this is all part of a massive government conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. Perhaps government agents were testing a new type of chemical warfare and the experiment went haywire. Maybe this is the first phase of President Obama’s nefarious Socialist health care death panels. Or maybe these birds just knew too much. Whatever the case, the government was so totally behind this and a massive cover up is now underway. The fireworks excuse was just misinformation being leaked out by the FBI to get us off their trail. In fact, I’ve probably already said too much.

Smoking. Who’s to say years of hard living and smoking three packs a day didn’t finally catch up with these birds? It’s got to be difficult to keep flying through the air with emphysema. At some point, their bodies just couldn’t take it anymore. You might think that the warning labels on cigarettes and all of the PSAs running about the dangers of lung cancer would keep them off tobacco, but as the photo below indicates, it’s still a serious problem in the bird community.

They simply gave up. Lindsay Lohan continues to break rules and go unpunished in LA. Both Little Fockers and Nicholas Cage’s Season of the Witch will be competing against each other at the box office this weekend. Terriers is still canceled while Two and a Half Men is still on the air. The Town got snubbed by the Golden Globes, but Burlesque was nominated for Best Picture. Lady Gaga has a new CD coming out this year. Pete Postlethwaite just died from cancer. It’s 2011 and yet we still have no flying cars. Maybe it was all just too much to take and they simply decided that living another year wasn’t for the birds.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

  1. Homer McFanboy January 5, 2011
  2. Ellen January 5, 2011
  3. Rachelle January 5, 2011
  4. Joelle January 5, 2011

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