In Uphams Corner, grackles plummet from trees, dead

The Globe reports the Animal Rescue League is trying to figure it out. One cat is also dead.

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You mean..

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..PLOP.

Why couldn't this happen to pigeons or seagulls instead.

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Not unusual

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Actually, events such as this are not unusual it seems, though when encountered it may seen unnatural. There is a whole web site dedicated to this phenomena...

http://www.birdsfallfromsky.com/

There are of course conspiracy theory web sites and paranormal web sites that also cover these. There is a wide range of explanations. They fall into a similar category as mass beaching of whales, dolphins, and other denizens of the sea.

Until a cause is determined it is wise to not let your cat eat wild squab of course.

FWIW, a tree near where I live produces an odd berry that local sparrows live to pick at after falling to the ground. When they eat them they actually get intoxicated and some keel over and join the choir invisible. So along with a mass fo berries on the ground, a couple of dead birds with it are a common sight.

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Oh, no!

Definitely sounds like poisoning-- cats can get sick from mice that have had rodent poison, so why not grackles-- but it may not be deliberate.

I recently heard of a eagles dying in Virginia from lead poisoning--http://wtop.com/local/2015/07/eagle-population-growing-but-finding-new-h.... Certainly a different cause here, but an example of how non-deliberate poisons can enter the ecosystem.

Sad to hear about the grackles, and very sorry for the poor guy losing his cat.

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Grackles?

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Maybe starlings? Can't recall ever seeing a grackle in Boston. Maybe I need to spend more time in UC.

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Yeah, maybe they were pigeons.

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I'm sure the Animal Rescue League is wrong, seeing as how they're an animal hospital, with staff trained in Veterinary Medicine. Not to mention they have access to the bird corpses, and can do an up-close examination.

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Get off your high horse.

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Get off your high horse. "Trained in veterinary medicine"doesn't indicate any knowledge of species. Just yesterday it was realized that there are four species of giraffe. They could be cow birds for all we know ... and, it doesn't matter anyway what species they are other than establishing a cause or motive based on behavior.

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Grackles abound!

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Perhaps they may eschew downtown (although I doubt it), but I assure you that there are grackles pretty much everywhere else in Boston!

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Also the eyes are quite distinct

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Adult grackles have those bright light colored eyes that make them look like they are intently staring at everything.

Starlings have dark eyes with no obvious pupil.

They really are quite different, to anyone who pays attention to birds.

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Clue?

Something about your comment reminds me of the old board game clue, "It was Colonel Mustard, in the library, with a candlestick!"

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I kept finding dead grackles

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I kept finding dead grackles under the same tree in West Roxbury. I just assumed it was a cat. But now I suspect something much more sinister: lots of cats working in a coordinated effort.

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Not familiar

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With the area, but if there's a park near by... I used to work near a Boston City park that, when they'd feed/seed/spray the lawn for weeds, bugs, etc, the sparrows would literally fall mid flight. Some of what they used on the lawn was pellet like, and I'm sure attractive to a bird, but I also wondered if it didn't just get into the rest of the food source - bugs, etc. Welcome to the age of Monsanto - feeding the world, by killing most of what lives on it, so there's more for you...if you survive.

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There are hundreds of

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There are hundreds of grackles in Boston Common and Public Garden at various times throughout the year... not uncommon at all.

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