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111 crows found dead in Saitama

25 Comments

Saitama prefectural officials said 111 crows were found dead in three locations between Dec 30 and Jan 6.

According to officials, the crows were found in Iruma, Sayama and Tokorozawa, TV Asahi reported Thursday. The dead birds were found on roads and in the brush.

Officials said 24 of the birds were tested for bird flu but the tests proved negative. Further tests also showed that the birds were not poisoned by agricultural chemicals.

The birds most likely died of starvation, as their stomachs were empty, officials said. Crows frequently feed on garbage.

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25 Comments
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I wonder if they were from the wall?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The birds most likely died of starvation, officials said. Most likely? If they died from starvation wouldn't they all have obvious signs of that? I have yet to see a single skinny crow in Tokyo, they are opportunist and considered one of the smartest birds.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Icing on wings sometimes causes this phenomenon, and that would coincide nicely with this weather. Starvation seems really unlikely, as there is no lack of garbage in Saitama.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If they died of starvation, it's strange that they're concentrated in three spots. More likely some infectious disease, or poisoning of some kind. Agricultural chemicals are not the only poisonous substance.

Someone poisoned them deliberately? Chucked something nasty away in the nama gomi that the birds got at?

One feckless bird who hasn't twigged how to rip into a bag of rubbish or how to glean a field dying of starvation I can understand, but over a hundred together? No.

There is something here someone doesn't want us to know.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good news? Bad news?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There's something strange happening here, as others have pointed out. These birds will eat almost anything, and there is certainly no shortage of garbage anywhere in areas where people live. If it were indeed due to sudden freeze, I think we'd find other birds and not just crows. No, I think someone decided to drop some poison in the garbage.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I know it Tokyo it was once public policy to kill crows:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122291084

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The point with the "empty stomach" info is that they've ruled out poisoning since anything they ate must reasonably still be present in their systems. There were cases of birds falling out of the sky for no apparent reason a few years ago in Arkansas as well, it was speculated to be caused by microbursts or fireworks amongst other things

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They could not have all died at exactly the same time. Crows eat meat. They would have consumed the first downed birds had they been starving.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Evidently, this occurs for a lot of reasons. They even have a web page...

http://www.birdsfallfromsky.com/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My initial reaction to the headline was that someone got fed up with the crows, just like that guy got fed up with the cats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

111?nice number

0 ( +0 / -0 )

they commited mass suicide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

West Nile Virus made it to Japan, finally?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saitama? Unexplained cause of death? i smell something fishy.....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

That is a LOT of crows to end up dying like that. Something about this news does not add up, starving?? I really doubt it! Crows, as many others here have already pointed out, WILL EAT JUST ABOUT ANYTHING! Every week I have to chase them away from my GARBAGE!! In my part of Tokyo, the crows are very healthy, NOISY and always up to messing up the garbage to get at something to eat, so being that close to those cities in SAITAMA.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I say it was murder. A murder of crows.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

perhaps the Microwave from communication antennas is getting the best of them!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

maybe Saitama garbage became too disgusting for them...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd like to see some dead crows in Tokyo, those things make more noise than the bosozoku.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Generally, I'm an animal lover but there is something about crows that I just don't like. I don't trust them. When I put the garbage out they are not there but I can see them hiding in the trees across the road. See, they don't realise that I'm a human and therefore, by natural selection, much smarter than them so they can't fool me or my mates... they aren't dolphins.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Only about half the crows that hatch make it to one year old. Most of these young crows die from bad weather, predation or starvation. So, those are your most prominent cause of death. If a crow makes it past the first year, it's likely to survive for six or seven years in the wild. Crows are incredibly intelligent, so they typically manage to avoid house cats and an adult crow's only enemy are large birds of prey and people who regularly shoot and poison crows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this kind of phenomenon observed previously in Japan ? Or is this unnatural or rare event.. I really want to know end of this story. Where can i get more information on this ? I am studying about anthropocene, so it would be helpful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've heard of this happening before, but not, IIRC, in such large numbers.

Depending on the area, crows that have been dependent on human-produced garbage might have been stymied in their scavenging by the long period with no garbage pickup over the holidays, and thus no handy food source for the numerous crows that had been supported by it.

Those who have been in the Tokyo area long enough may remember how few crows there used to be, before Tokyo performed a classic "be careful what you ask for" act and legislated translucent garbage bags to replace the previously mostly opaque ones. The crow population dramatically increased, since now they could see food and regularly rip the bags to get to it.

Previously, they mostly feasted on loose scraps and pretty much ignored sealed opaque bags, and there weren't that many crows around...not "none", but many fewer than after the bags were changed.

Parts of Saitama seem to have been having some success in changing from blue to yellow nets over the trash piles; crows apparently can't see through the yellow as well, or at least that's the theory I hear.

I don't know how long it takes a crow to starve, but in some areas nobody was putting out garbage for several days in a row, nearly a week in fact, including small restaurants that closed for the holidays.

There may not have been enough food around for the number of crows that would otherwise be supported. Why they didn't scavenge the first crows to die is a good question, but maybe the survivors did just that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its just a theory, but I am willing to bet that these crows were being fed by people or maybe even being kept as pets at some point, and for some reason the person/people who were feeding these crows stopped. The crows probably died because they didn't know or forgot how to get food on their own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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