Thousands of Utah migratory birds have dropped out of the sky only to crash to their death on land, such as the Cedar City Walmart parking lot. It is a bizarre scene where Washington County experts believe the fowls thought they were plummeting into water. Instead, they hit the pavement and a nearby football field.
Most of the birds survived the crash, but many of them were killed instantly. One Utah state wildlife expert says about 3,000 were rescued of the estimated 4,5000 that crashed.
“They’re just everywhere,” said Teresa Griffin, wildlife program manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource’s southern region. “It’s been nonstop. All our employees are driving around picking them up, and we’ve got so many people coming to our office and dropping them off.”
The birds are Grebe’s and they are known for being excellent swimmers and divers. The area they crashed into had a fresh 3 inch layer off glistening snow on the ground.
“The storm clouds over the top of the city lights made it look like a nice, flat body of water. All the conditions were right,” Griffin said. “So the birds landed to rest, but ended up slamming into the pavement.”
Officials and volunteers took the survivors to nearby unfrozen bodies of water and once they were back into the water became very active. There was no human injuries or property damage reported in the incident. Have you ever seen thousands of birds dive or crash land?