HALIFAX, Pa. (WHTM) — Anyone who drove Route 225 in the Halifax area recently saw something — upsetting.
More than 100 dead European starlings were scattered along the Dauphin County Roadway.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission investigated after receiving several calls.
“Any time you have multiple numbers of injured or dead wildlife, it’s a cause for at least further investigation,” said Travis Lau Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesperson.
Lau said blunt force trauma was likely the culprit of the deaths.
“A large flock of starlings would have just crossed the highway at an inopportune moment, at an inopportune height and [could have] been struck by one more vehicle,” Lau said.
He said flocks can number in the thousands, and their movements are sudden.
“It’s more of a chain reaction type thing. You’ll see these large flocks flying and then suddenly see them dart left or right,” he said.
Starlings are an invasive species, native to Europe. They were brought over to America in 1890 by a German immigrant inspired by Shakespeare, according to BBC.
Starlings are known to push native birds about of their nests.
“There is always a possibility that they were shot by hunters, but starling hunting isn’t what deer hunting is either,” Lau said.
This means the birds likely met their fate by being on the wrong side of the rules of the road.
“With a group of birds that behave that way, it doesn’t take much to throw them into a dangerous course,” Lau said.
Lau also pointed out that since these flocks are so big, it wouldn’t take much for a big truck or semi to take just 100 out in one fair swoop.
If you see something suspicious, contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission.