Starlings die from “fatal error”
Imagine coming home to find seventy-six dead starlings in one’s garden. That is what happened to Julie Knight of Coxley, Somerset, England, recently. One would normally expect poisoning to be the cause of mass starling death, at least from an American perspective, but an investigation came to the conclusion that the birds mistook the driveway for a reed bed and just flew into the ground. There are many tales of loons and grebes mistaking a wet road or parking lot for a lake with disastrous consequences but I think this is the first time I have come across such a situation with passerines.