March 14, 2018 1:22 pm
Updated: March 14, 2018 5:13 pm

Mass bird death investigated in south Okanagan

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Mary Simonin was travelling down Naramata Road on Sunday afternoon when she made a startling discovery.

She snapped photographs showing at least 40 deceased birds littering the street.

“I thought something had fallen out of a truck on the way to the landfill and I expected whatever birds to just fly away and a couple did then nothing else moved,” she said. “I slowed down and when I looked it was all these dead birds.”

She thought the birds were European Starlings – an invasive species in the Okanagan.

“It was certainly unusual. Yes it was strange. I tried to imagine what might have happened. I knew they couldn’t have been electrocuted on the lines because birds are on there all of the time. I counted at least 40 of them,” Simonin said.

The birds have now been cleared from the road but how they died remains a mystery.

Wildlife officials say it’s not the usual season for accidental poisoning from fermented fruit.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources said it has sent one of the birds to the animal health lab for testing.

Results are expected in a few weeks.

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