<p><strong>A dead bird lies on the ground in Beebe, <a id="kbzj" title="Arkansas" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/united-states/arkansas-guide/">Arkansas</a>, on Sunday after being thrown off the roof of a home by a worker with United States Environmental Services LLC.</strong></p><p>More than 3,000 <a id="dwzl" title="red-winged blackbirds" href="http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birding/red-winged-blackbird">red-winged blackbirds</a> mysteriously tumbled dead from the Arkansas sky on New Year's Eve, the <a id="i55k" title="Arkansas Game and Fish Commission" href="http://www.agfc.com/Pages/default.aspx">Arkansas Game and Fish Commission</a> told the Associated Press. (<a id="g3kp" title="Visit National Geographic's backyard birding central." href="http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birding/">Visit National Geographic's backyard birding central.</a>)</p><p>A preliminary report—released Monday by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission—suggests the birds died of trauma of unknown cause.</p><p>"The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages," game-and-fish commission bird expert Karen Rowe told CNN.</p><p>It's unknown whether the trauma occurred during contact with something in the sky—such as <a id="f35c" title="lightning" href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/lightning-profile/">lightning</a> or high-altitude hail—or when the birds hit the ground, Rowe said.</p><p>Commission scientists began to examine the carcasses today, and final results on the exact cause of the birds' death could be back within a week.</p>

Fallen Blackbird

A dead bird lies on the ground in Beebe, Arkansas, on Sunday after being thrown off the roof of a home by a worker with United States Environmental Services LLC.

More than 3,000 red-winged blackbirds mysteriously tumbled dead from the Arkansas sky on New Year's Eve, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told the Associated Press. (Visit National Geographic's backyard birding central.)

A preliminary report—released Monday by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission—suggests the birds died of trauma of unknown cause.

"The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages," game-and-fish commission bird expert Karen Rowe told CNN.

It's unknown whether the trauma occurred during contact with something in the sky—such as lightning or high-altitude hail—or when the birds hit the ground, Rowe said.

Commission scientists began to examine the carcasses today, and final results on the exact cause of the birds' death could be back within a week.

Photograph by Stephen B. Thornton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

Pictures: Birds Fall From Sky in Arkansas

Birds were falling from the sky and fish were found floating dead en masse in two recent but unrelated Arkansas die-offs, experts say.

Read This Next

The science behind seasonal depression
These 3,000-year-old relics were torched and buried—but why?
How the Holocaust happened in plain sight

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet