Friday, December 26, 2014

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Drunk pigeons? Downtown bird kill spurs theories

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Maybe those dead birds in Austin were drunk. That's one theory on why about 60 dead birds forced Monday's closure of some streets in downtown Austin.

Experts say there was no public health threat. Officials are awaiting lab results that could take up to one week, perhaps longer.

The carcasses of 63 grackles, sparrows and pigeons were found along Congress Avenue between Sixth and Eighth streets.

A spokeswoman for the Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services said Avian flu is not suspected.

Another theory is that the birds drank fermented berries and were intoxicated, or they were disoriented from new high-rise structures in downtown Austin and hit the reflective glass.

Accidental mistletoe berry poisoning has also been suggested. Travis County health official Adolfo Valadez said the birds could have been poisoned on purpose.

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