4,000 Exhausted Birds Crash Land in Utah Parking Lot

eared grebesIf you live in Southern Utah and heard a loud thud Monday night, it wasn't your neighbor firing off his antique cannon again. It was way worse, and way more disturbing. Unfortunately, a flock of over 4,000 birds crash-landed into a Wal-Mart parking lot in Cedar City. The eared grebes, a duck-like bird species, mistook the slab of pavement for a body of water, and yeah, when bird meets asphalt it's not the same as when bird meets water. Over 1,500 of the poor things died on impact, but luckily Wildlife Rescue workers were able to help about 3,000 survivors. They took them to an actual pond and released them. 

After a long flight to Mexico, the birds just wanted a place to rest their tired little wings. But instead, they met death in the cruelest place on earth: A Wal-Mart parking lot. Poor, poor things.


Officials say that the weather played a part in the birds' misunderstanding -- some storm clouds overhead made the pavement look like a big ole lake. They went on to say that this kind of thing has happened before but never with these kinds of numbers. With over 1,500 dead eared grebes lining the lot, that's gotta be some sort of terrible, terrible record.

It's a sad story, but I'm glad to hear that a majority of the birds were rescued and taken to a safe place. It's a horrible time of year to lose a loved one, no matter if you're avian or human, and there's no real take away here except that if you want to shop at Wal-Mart this year for gifts, be prepared to be pepper-sprayed or dive-bombed from some misinformed kamikaze birds. I guess it's true what they say, Wal-Mart really is kind of an evil place.

Has anything like this ever happened in your town?


Photo via flythebirdpath/Flickr

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