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01/24/2011

Bird deaths caused by avicide in USDA “shocker”  »

It’s just that the starlings in South Dakota “were defecating on a farmer’s cattle feed across the state line in Nebraska,” and whoops, they dropped dead in midair, inconveniently missing the state whose resident had put a contract out on their lives altogether. Funny how that works.

This is part of an ongoing program called “Bye Bye Blackbird”—cleverly titled by some USDA employee in the ’60s—that exists solely for the “eradication” (read: MURDER) of birds that have become pests. Sorry, endangered species, but the poisons used to kill all your avian pals don’t differentiate between “good” birds and “bad” ones, so the rusty blackbird is dying alongside “pests” like those cow-feed-ruining starlings, grackles, cowbirds, and red-winged blackbirds. Whoops, again! But if the dang birds aren’t pooping everywhere they’re eating up all the feed for the cows we people need to kill to feed our gaping maws, so someone has to suffer. I know, I  know—hungry birds? in the winter? Knock me over with a feather. Too bad they won’t just quietly hide away and starve to death, like nice homeless people. Thousands of birds falling dead from the sky is just so—creepy. I mean, it’s not like the USDA is going to stop using avicides, or cattle farmers won’t contract out the totally necessary bird-killing to professional murderers. Goodness.

[Photo of the second-ever banded rusty blackbird by Stylurus; thanks to Truthout for the story]

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