Dozens of birds fall from New Jersey sky, die

August 15, 2012 4:17:26 AM PDT
Dozens of birds fell from the sky and died Tuesday morning in southern New Jersey, startling neighbors.

Authorities say that a legally applied pesticide is to blame.

Residents of Millville saw birds - mostly red-winged blackbirds buts also some sparrows - falling around 8:30 a.m.

Police responded to calls by using a reverse 911 system to tell people living on a few streets to stay inside while they figured out what was going on.

Cumberland County spokesman Troy Ferus told WPVI-TV that county officials traced the deaths to Avitrol, a chemical that suppresses a bird's nervous system. Ferus said the farmer, who was licensed to use the chemical, acknowledged spraying the pesticide Monday.

Michelle Cavalieri told The News of Cumberland County that it was like a horror movie. Birds would fall, try to get up and fall again until they could not move at all.

Darlene Knoll said she saw birds fall to the ground off a feeder.

WAKE UP WITH EYEWITNESS NEWS! Click here to download the WABC Eyewitness News Alarm Clock app from iTunes. or search WABC or 7online in the app store.

Get Eyewitness News Delivered

Facebook | Twitter | Newsletters | Text Alerts