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Drivers avoid geese falling from the sky
The Centre Daily Times ^ | March 8, 2009 | Mark Nale

Posted on 03/08/2009 7:17:18 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

BALD EAGLE — Last Friday morning, many commuters on their way to State College observed a strange event.

During the thundershower on Feb. 27, some unseen force knocked a flock of Canada geese from the air near the Bald Eagle exit of Interstate 99 in Blair County.

Richard Bishop of Tyrone witnessed the last few geese fall.

“I was just coming under the underpass after exiting from I-99,” Bishop said. “We were on our way to Ohio when I saw this blur of something dropping from the sky. When we got closer, there were dead geese all over the road in front of us. They were scattered over about 150 yards near where Route 350 breaks off to head to Warriors Mark. None of the geese was moving.”

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Charles Wilt happened by at about the same time and moved the dead geese to the side of the road.

“A couple of birds appeared to have been run over by cars after they fell, but most of them didn’t show any outward damage,” Trooper Wilt reported. “I thought that maybe they had been struck by lightning.” Trooper Wilt observed no live geese. Advertisement

Lion Country Supply manager Randy Carlson and employee Phil Allison, of Alexandria, also investigated the strange event. On his way to work, Allison had been driving through that area at about the same time as Bishop. Allison reported that he came upon the geese just a minute or two after a loud clap of thunder.

“The geese were all over the road and also along the edges and even back in the woods,” Carlson said. “It just seemed that they dropped from the sky stone dead. Maybe they were struck by lightning.”

Pennsylvania Game Commission officer Steve Hanczar investigated the incident and collected nine geese for examination at the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Penn State University.

According to Terry Clevenger, dispatcher in the Southcentral Office of the PGC, a total of 56 geese were involved, but counts by Carlson and others put the number at 44.

“A necropsy was performed at PSU on the geese, and they all had crushed breastbones and trachea, with no sign of electrocution,” Clevenger said. “Although they are continuing the investigation, the most likely explanation is that they were thrown to the ground by a severe downdraft during the storm.”

Game Commission veterinarian Dr. Walter Cottrell agreed with the assessment of damage, but hedged on the possible cause. “The geese all had quite severe trauma to their undersides, including massive bruising and crushed breastbones. It is no doubt that they died from hitting the pavement or ground, and the force involved was more than just a bad landing. The avian pathologist who examined the geese detected no burns or lesions that might typically result from lightning.

“It must have been a quick but painful death,” Cottrell said in a phone interview. “It might have been a combination of poor visibility, wind, and disoriented geese.”

Penn State professor of Wildlife Resources Margaret Brittingham fielded several reports from friends who suspected lightning when they saw all the dead geese shortly after the storm. Brittingham questioned whether geese could even be electrocuted in mid-air. Cottrell declined to comment as to whether birds could be killed in mid-air by lightning.

Whether the incident was caused by downdraft, lightning, or a combination of factors, all agreed that this was a very unusual event. The PGC gathered up the remainder of the geese on March 3. The investigation was still continuing at the time of this writing.


TOPICS: Local News; Miscellaneous; Outdoors; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: baldeagle; geese; i99; interstate99; pa; pennstate; pennsylvania; statecollege

1 posted on 03/08/2009 7:17:18 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The Core.


2 posted on 03/08/2009 7:18:45 PM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I’d hate to have one of those hit my windshield...


3 posted on 03/08/2009 7:19:16 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

As a “WKRP in Cincinnati” fan, all I can think of is, “God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”


4 posted on 03/08/2009 7:19:30 PM PDT by Cloverfarm
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To: cripplecreek

Coulda been the Navy testing their sonar. Oh wait thats whales.

Sully gets payback?


5 posted on 03/08/2009 7:20:21 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Cloverfarm

Oh the Humanity!!!!


6 posted on 03/08/2009 7:22:21 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Hail! I wonder what happened?


7 posted on 03/08/2009 7:24:59 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of the Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Awww, poor geese.


8 posted on 03/08/2009 7:25:15 PM PDT by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristoferrson VIVA LA REVOLUTION!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

9 posted on 03/08/2009 7:25:16 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Poachers.


10 posted on 03/08/2009 7:25:23 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Yes, Gorbachev is better than Obama. At least Gorbachev admitted he was a Communist)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Wasn’t that about the same time 0bama was flying to Ohio to brag about the 25 new police jobs he created? Maybe Air Force One has some kind of goose death ray to protect itself from bird strikes?


11 posted on 03/08/2009 7:25:31 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( Dear Mr. Obama - Please make it rain candy! P.S. I like jelly beans.)
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To: Cloverfarm

Yeah, I had WKRP flashbacks reading this too.


12 posted on 03/08/2009 7:25:32 PM PDT by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristoferrson VIVA LA REVOLUTION!)
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To: Born Conservative

13 posted on 03/08/2009 7:26:34 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of the Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
the most likely explanation is that they were thrown to the ground by a severe downdraft during the storm.”

Windshear. It has dropped airliners like rocks before. Too bad, geese don't have the new doppler radar to warn them.

14 posted on 03/08/2009 7:26:40 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Does anyone know where pilot “Sully” Sullenberger was at the time?


15 posted on 03/08/2009 7:28:17 PM PDT by Bernard Marx (Free California from public employee union rule!)
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To: driftdiver
Coulda been the Navy testing their sonar. Oh wait thats whales.

Reminds me of a story from a radar class. The teacher told about when birds would land on an antenna some of the operators would turn on the radar frying the birds. They would fall down to the deck where other crew men would kick them overboard. Then the officers would come out and yell at everyone involved.

16 posted on 03/08/2009 7:31:01 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Obama: removing the speed limit on the Road to Serfdom)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

17 posted on 03/08/2009 7:31:56 PM PDT by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

What State is this? Please put in subject line, THX!


18 posted on 03/08/2009 7:40:14 PM PDT by acoulterfan
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Not necessarily lightening per se, but perhaps the geese were in precisely the right spot for the intense resultant concussion of the thunder clap to stun them.

There would not be any evidence I would think. The disoriented, or knocked out birds would fall, and their bodies would be crushed by the impact of hitting the ground.

A little speculation on my part.


19 posted on 03/08/2009 7:45:47 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, Call 'em what you will, they ALL have Fairies livin' in their Trees.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
W have bird 'fallouts' here on Dauphin Island, Alabama.

"Porter says that the most spectacular birding events happen during what is called “fall out” conditions. “Waiting for a good tail wind, the birds begin their migration from the Yucatan Peninsula around dusk and fly for 600 miles before arriving along the coast the next afternoon,” he said. “If the weather is right some of the birds may fly as far as Montgomery or Birmingham before stopping to rest. But, if the weather changes in flight and they fly into a head wind or cold front, the exhausted birds literally fall out of the sky by the hundreds onto Dauphin Island.”

Hummingbirds will fly for 26 hours to cross the Gulf Of Mexico to come here too.

20 posted on 03/08/2009 7:54:15 PM PDT by blam
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To: KarlInOhio

“..some of the operators would turn on the radar frying the birds. They would fall down to the deck where other crew men would kick them overboard. Then the officers would come out and yell at everyone involved.”

Officers don’t have to clean the bird droppings off the antenna, the boat, etc.


21 posted on 03/08/2009 7:55:58 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: acoulterfan

Pennsylvania. I put it in the keywords.


22 posted on 03/08/2009 8:09:00 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Barack Obama: in your guts, you know he's nuts!)
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To: Cloverfarm

That episode is on hulu.com.


23 posted on 03/08/2009 8:13:16 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I agree with Rick..)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Were they hit by a 757? Speaking of GEESE These birds fly over my house in the morning and evening. You here them before you see them...
24 posted on 03/08/2009 8:16:10 PM PDT by tubebender (99% of Lawyers give the rest a bad name...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Free airkill. Roast with potatoes and cranberries.

Reminds me of the old joke/story. Two airplanes were lining up to take off, when the control tower contacted them to tell then that there was a dead deer on Runway 7.

The first plane confirmed it and said it would avoid it. The second plane radioed the tower, saying: “We see it and have already notified our caterer.”

Bon Appetit!


25 posted on 03/08/2009 8:19:35 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: hinckley buzzard

Wonder if hail could have an effect....konking on the heads as a shock (concussion) and then they fall to the ground.
Just a guess...not an expert!


26 posted on 03/08/2009 8:21:22 PM PDT by tflabo
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Sully!
27 posted on 03/08/2009 8:33:47 PM PDT by ItsForTheChildren
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Re “Cackling geese”. Did anyone see Nancy Pelosi in that flock? Any flock? I swear I heard her flying overhead near DC in a flock of Canadian Geese. A worse cackle than that of the Wicked Witch of the West. Oh, she IS the Wicked Witch of the West. Sorry.


28 posted on 03/08/2009 8:48:30 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: dfwgator

The WKRP turkey drop.


29 posted on 03/08/2009 9:20:23 PM PDT by Califreak (1/20/13-Sunrise in America)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

My dad told that when he was a kid in depression times (New York state) he delivered newspapers early in the morning. One morning there were dead geese all over the fields. The folks in the area had goose for dinner for a couple of days. The geese probably flew into a thick cloud bank and couldn’t see. They will just fold up their wings and fall to the ground. Ducks will do the same thing.


30 posted on 03/09/2009 8:22:00 AM PDT by 4yearlurker (The ground at Arlington is moving & shaking.)
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