Thousands of migrating birds reportedly mistook a Wal-Mart parking lot, football fields, highways and other areas of southern Utah for bodies of water and plummeted to the ground. It is estimated that about 1500 birds died while thousands more were injured.
The birds, a flock of eared grebes, is water loving and likes to make landings on water bodies. However on this fateful day, the birds happened to land on solid ground with enough force to kill over one thousand of them and immobilize over over 2000 of them. Volunteers helped release over 3000 of them to a nearby pond. No human injury was reported however.
This was not the first time though that birds mistake ground for water. Lynn Chamberlain, Outreach Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife, said that they had seen previous incidences involving the same kind of birds under the same weather conditions.