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Toxicology tests determine grackles that dropped from Winnipeg sky were poisoned

University of Manitoba PhD student Saeedeh Bani Assadi along with biological sciences professor Kevin Fraser found they were able to instill different migration times in nestling purple martins by manipulating light levels in their nest boxes.
University of Manitoba PhD student Saeedeh Bani Assadi along with biological sciences professor Kevin Fraser found they were able to instill different migration times in nestling purple martins by manipulating light levels in their nest boxes. Craig Cunningham / The Associated Press, File

WINNIPEG – Toxicology tests have confirmed dozens of birds found dead on a street in Winnipeg’s North End last month had poison in their system.

The tests found traces of the chemical anticholinesterase, which affects the nervous system and is commonly used for controlling pests.

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Several common grackles were found dead and dying in the area of Dufferin Avenue and King Street on Aug. 7.

People who work in the area saw the birds falling out of trees.

Witness Ramadan Sakoli said the grass was covered with the small black corpses.

The deaths shocked the community and left many scratching their heads over what caused the birds to suddenly drop to the ground.

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