Hundreds Of Dead Birds Found Outside Broken Arrow Walmart

Wednesday, August 10th 2011, 3:04 pm
By: News On 6 & Lacie Lowry, News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- A News On 6 viewer became concerned Wednesday after shopping at a Broken Arrow Walmart Neighborhood Market when she said she saw hundreds of dead birds strewn across the parking lot.

"I was grossed out at first, I was just like, ‘wow,'" Amber Ross said.

Ross was shopping with her 6-month-old daughter at the 91st and Elm location.  The stench hit her first. 

"It almost smelled like sewage," she said. "I had my daughter with me and I thought maybe it was her, at first, but it wasn't."

Ross's giggle quickly ended when she started looking around.

"I walked over towards Walmart and starting at the front of their door right there, walking all the ways toward the car, there's just rows of dead birds," she said.

Ross shot video as she retraced her steps.

[Watch the video above]

"There were about 60-70 around each tree base, plus the ones starting up at the front of the store and going back along the sidewalk, so there were about 300 birds total," she said.

So what caused all these birds to die? County and state experts say severe weather is to blame.

One theory is the lightning and thunder scared the birds out of the trees, causing them to fly or blow back into the trees or brick building.

The other idea is the birds were so soaked with rain, they died from hypothermia.

Ross just wants them gone.

"Somebody has their kids or some little children, mom and dad are packing up the vehicle and the little kid goes over and says, "oh, look, a birdie." These birds could have anything on them," she said.

Experts say these birds pose no real disease threat.

Walmart would not comment, only saying they were working to clean it up.

News On 6 found a pest removal service on the scene, bagging up the last of the birds baking on the ground.

"I'm thankful for the rain, don't get me wrong, but I could have done without the dead birds in the parking lot," Ross said.

State wildlife experts say bird die-offs are common after severe weather.

One exception was in Arkansas, where at least 3,000 blackbirds died on New Year's Eve when fireworks scared them out of their roosting spots.

Read more about bird die-offs from the Wildlife Management Institute