Sunday, March 16, 2008

Birds drop from the sky--oops!--nobody warned the neighbors

This article tells about the controlled poisoning of starlings in Moxee, east of Yakima. The birds, considered a pest, cause all sorts of problems. The USDA did the controlled poisoning to reduce the population. But nobody told the neighbors, (Oops!) who were considerably startled to have thousands of starlings dropping from the sky into their yards.


This brings back memories from childhood. My dad was with the county agriculture department and was once given the responsibility of poisoning pest pigeons at the railway station in a nearby town. Should not have been a big problem, right? Put out the poison bait in such a way that only the pigeons would be affected.
Then the train came through. (You will have to imagine the sound of the train whistle here. I tried to put a train whistle here, but I got in trouble and was banned from the free sound effects page, so obviously I didn't do it right.)
Thousands of pigeons, startled by the train whistle took off from the station platform...

...and dropped dead all over town.

It wasn't something we talked about a lot.


June said...

I just finished watching a story about the starlings in Scotland. They noted the "pest" part, but focused on showing us their beautiful flight formations. Too bad about the pigeon mess :)

CrazyCath said...

Brings a whole new meaning to the terms "raining cats and dogs" or "raining frogs"! Great post. Stupid planning people! lol (not your dad - he did his job, some one should have looked at the timetable!)

Lew said...

Starlings have been a pest in the DC area too, with various methods used to scare them off. Here is different scary story concerning dead birds and terrorists. Seems that the authorities over reacted a bit.