Hundreds of dead sparrows have been found dead in a cemetery
© CEN
Hundreds of dead sparrows have been found dead in a cemetery
On September 9, 2021, footage was released of hundreds of sparrows falling from the sky and dying in Bali's Gianyar regency, with authorities initially dumbfounded by the whole situation.

The incident occurred in a cemetery, and was recorded by a local who could be heard being extremely puzzled at the sight of hundreds of dead (or nearly dead) avians on the ground.

Reports coming from the area indicated that the mass die-off happened immediately after a period of rainfall and heavy wind, and some social portals even guessed that it was the weather conditions that had caused the phenomenon.


What caused it?

At first, authorities in the area tried to attribute the mass deaths to the prevalence of acid in the rain.

"If we're talking about the condition and natural events, it can be said that there was a lot of acid during the rain," said a spokesperson from Bali's Natural Resources Consevation Center (BKSDA). "It's possible that it caused the birds to fall from the sky."

However, following field visits by the authorities, it was eventually revealed that the cause of the deaths were due to the use of pesticides in a nearby village, which had caused the birds to fall prey to heavy poisoning.

"Our suspicion is that the community nearby used non-natural pesticides, which poisoned them," said the BKSDA's chief in a later update.

He said that the birds must have been looking for food in large groups - possibly in the thousands - around the vicinity, and had begun to forage on newly grown rice crops which had been sprayed with the pesticides. This possibly caused a gradual poisoning of many of the birds.

"That's our current guess, and we've asked our partners in the field to educate the people on the use of pesticides in an effort to be mindful of other wild creatures around the area - not only the birds, but other animals as well," he added.