Mass bird deaths explained: Why birds sometimes die in groups (VIDEO).

The Real Reason Behind “Mysterious” Mass Bird Deaths Every Year

The Real Reason Behind “Mysterious” Mass Bird Deaths Every Year

The state of the universe.
Jan. 13 2015 12:11 PM

The Truth About “Mysterious” Mass Bird Deaths

Why they will continue to happen.

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Flocks of ravens from northern Poland and Russia arrive in the southern Czech town of Zidlochovice on November 27, 2013. The birds are migriating to avoid the colder weather during the winter further north before returning in mid-March. AFP PHOTO/ RADEK MICA (Photo credit should read RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images

More than 1,200 dead seabirds have washed ashore off Washington state and northern California in recent months, the latest large-scale bird deaths to capture headlines. These cases tend to invite speculative (and sometimes conspiratorial) theories, but no matter the cause of death, there’s actually a simple reason behind them. The video above explains the trends behind mass bird deaths in North America and beyond.

Rachel Stewart is an editor who lives in Philadelphia. Check out her work here.