And now what appears to be a near conclusion for the mystery of thousands of birds discovered dead around the world, the USDA has become one of the first agencies to come forward to explain that it was responsible for at least one of the die offs. Those claiming the bird deaths may have come from a truly fantastic cause are still looking for answers in the skies while others are suggesting more admissions such as this are in the works.
But what was the motive for such a massive die off of Starlings? What does the USDA have against birds? Actually, it’s nowhere near as incredible as the first reports breaking worldwide in recent weeks have indicated. Instead of testing powerful weapons technology or accidentally unleashing a plague on the wings of birds, the truth is the Department of Agriculture was killing the birds to actually prevent the outbreak of disease. Farmers in South Dakota had been complaining of birds flying over cattle fields and as a result poison was left out for the birds to consume. It worked fast, and a massive flock of Starlings fell from the sky very quickly.
So is this the end to the flock of hysteria taking flight all across the globe? Unlikely, say some veteran conspiracy theorists, as there are still too many variables involved in the sheer number of deaths. While it may turn out in the end to be quite mundane, the mystery at its core seems to be that hundreds of news reports have been breaking in recent weeks suggesting massive animal die offs all around the globe. And while it may not be strictly understood just how it came about, a massive coincidence or media scare is not beyond the realm of possibility according to a growing majority in the media.
So does this series of incidents once again put the media in the spotlight as news outlets searching desperately for ratings attempt to look deeper into global scares and even suffer some of its symptoms themselves? Or is it simply reporting once again on what people are asking about? With 2012 on the horizon and world events making it increasingly frightening even more than before, it’s difficult to pin down what precisely is making these incidents quite so prevalent in the media. Perhaps the real story isn’t about the incidents themselves, but our reaction to them. And perhaps the real danger from massive bird die offs isn’t just the animals falling from the sky, but the panic that it can cause.