It’s raining… birds?

Blackbird blizzard

Residents of Beebe, Ark., had a Hitchcock-creepy start to 2011.

On Dec. 31, just 30 minutes before midnight, thousands of red-winged blackbirds began to fall from the sky in the small town, located about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock. By Saturday morning, an estimated 3,000 carcasses littered a one-mile area. No dead birds were found outside the area.

Scientists are scratching their heads over what caused the deaths. Most birds showed trauma, indicating that a hail storm or lightening could have hit the flock. Some scientists have suggested the birds died from stress caused by fireworks.

Investigators ruled out disease or poisoning after no dead birds were found at a nearby wooded roosting area.

In an unrelated mystery, nearly 100,000 drum fish have washed up along the Arkansas River, located 100 miles from Beebe. Scientists have pointed to disease.