By Gary Bogue
Monday, January 8th, 2007 at 12:33 pm in Dead birds.
Were dead birds that closed downtown Austin, Texas, poisoned by building owners for pooping on their buildings?
A wire story just filed by Associated Press writer Jim Vertuno, states that police shut down 10 blocks of businesses in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas, early today "after dozens of birds were found dead in the streets." Officials said preliminary tests showed no dangerous chemicals in the air.
The story said "as many as 60 dead pigeons, sparrows and grackles were found overnight along Congress Avenue, a main route through downtown." No human injuries or illnesses were reported.
Interestingly, all three birds are typical of those types of urban birds that perch in large flocks on rooftops, gutters and sidewalks around buildings and make enormous messes that building owners have to clean up.
Grackles are crow-size birds, black with iridescent heads, backs and bellies that normally inhabit urban areas in the Midwest and Eastern parts of the United States. We’re all familiar with pigeons and sparrows. All three of the bird species eat just about anything they find on city streets, especially seeds.
And seeds are what angry building owners sometimes use to poison these birds so they don’t poop on their buildings. It has happened in other cities in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they discover after just about every medical testing facility in Austin, and quite a few that aren’t, finishes testing the bodies of the dead birds.