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Last Updated: Tuesday January 04 2011 14:54 GMT

Mystery as thousands of birds fall dead from the sky

Birds fall from the sky

Birds fall from the sky

Experts are trying to solve the mystery of why thousands of birds have been falling dead from the sky in America.

Red-winged blackbirds started dropping over the town of Beebe in Arkansas just before midnight on New Year's Eve.

Some people think the birds were scared by fireworks causing them to crash into homes and each other, others say their deaths were caused by bad weather.

Eddie Cullum from the Beebe Police Department said "There is all kinds of speculation, but we don't know."

Tests are being carried out on some of the birds' bodies for signs of disease or poison, but some wildlife experts say it's possible we'll never know the real cause of the mass deaths.

Red-winged blackbirds are a common sight in North America as it's thought there are somewhere between 100 million and 200 million of them nationwide.

But no-one in Beebe expected the sudden bird downfall, in which about 3,000 of the blackbirds died.

Melissa Weatherly, who lives in the town, said:"It was horrible; you could not even get down the road without running over hundreds. It was that bad."