This is the moment over a hundred starlings are found dead in the middle of a motorway – with one theory being that they flew together so densely that an electrical charge from a pylon earthed through their bodies killing them all at once.
The incident happened on a motorway between the cities of Salou and Tarrogona, next to the Laboral University of Tarragona.
The theory that it was an electricity pylon that killed the birds were backed up by the fact that there had been a similar case involving starlings in the same area in 2002 and in that case it was confirmed that the birds were electrocuted by a nearby electricity pylon.
Video Credit: CEN/@viquirepublica
Starlings often flock together in large numbers to form a murmuration that is often ended up as a viral video with their spectacular shape changes that certainly seem dense enough to generate an electric shock from the power cable.
When they are in large numbers occasionally there will also be a mass crash with the birds are confused and strike the ground if for example there is a predator in the area, which might also be a reason for the mass deaths
However the GEPEC ecology group claimed that it might have been something to do with the “strange smells” that locals claimed to have noticed in the area, and outline the fact that there was a connection with a nearby petrochemical factory at the scene of the mass deaths in the autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia.
The video shared by a driver on Twitter shows dozens of the dead birds spread across the motorway and the driver of the vehicle certainly seems to feel that the factory is to blame for the deaths. He can be heard saying: “This is happening next to the petrochemical of Tarragona, where there was an explosion recently.
“Dozens of dead birds on the road, call me paranoid, but this is not normal”.
The factory is reportedly controversial based on the fact that only recently on the 14th January, a generator exploded, and a piece of the generator weighing a ton was launched in the air and ended up crashing against a building, killing a man. Two workers inside the factory also died as a result of the accident.
Catalan regional government spokesperson Gerard Gomez told local media that once the report was received, rural support officers were dispatched to pick up samples from the birds which were over 100 in number.
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