Mystery of Dead Conn. Birds Solved

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Hundreds of dead birds fell onto homes and cars in parts of a Somerset County town this weekend.

Andrea Kipec, who lives in the southern part of Franklin Township, told the Courier News of Bridgewater that she counted more than 150 dead birds on her property. And she said local officials told her that she had to clean them up.

A spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services said Sunday night that the dead birds were part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to reduce the European starling population.

The spokesperson could not say where they were poisoned or what was used to kill them, but said the birds pose no hazard to people or pets.

A USDA advisory said the culling was done because European starlings "congregate at feed lots and dairies in the winter, causing damage by consuming and contaminating seed and contributing to the spread of diseases."