According to NBC News, preliminary autopsies on 17 of the 5,000 or more blackbirds that inexplicably fell out of the sky died of "blunt trama to their organs", which occurred when they inexplicably fell out of the sky over Arkansas. Dr. George Badley ruled out poison because the autopsies concluded that their stomachs were empty. The current theory is that the red-winged blackbirds, who fly in close flocks, must have been startled by something and suffered a massive midair collision.
Another leading theory, proffered by the director of Cornell University's ornithology lab in Ithaca, N.Y., is that it's possible thousands of birds were roosting in a single tree, sound asleep, when a violent thunder storm sucked them up into the air, confused and disoriented them, even fatally soaking and chilling them. The birds body temperature is usually at 103 degrees thanks to their feathers, but once they get unnaturally wet, say from a massive storm, it only takes a few minutes for them to die.
New Year's day had to have been one of the weirdest starts to a new year in the recorded history of Beebe, Arkansas, when they awoke on Saturday morning, January 1st, to find thousands of dead blackbirds on their lawns, the hoods of their cars, and atop the roofs of their homes.
The state had violent weather the Friday before, including lightning, which could have killed or startled the birds into the collision, and a tornado which killed three people in Cincinnati, Ark.