13 June 2012

Shower of Birds - Strange Thing at Chicago

Chicago special: A phenomenon occurred during the storm of Saturday night in the vicinity of the Board of Trade tower light. It was none other than a shower of birds. Yesterday when the watchman made his rounds he found the sidewalk and streets fairly covered with dead birds of all sorts. A little later the electrician came down, and when he saw the great pile of birds he said it was the electric light at the top of the tower. When he went up to the lantern with some members of the Board of Trade the roof was found covered with dead birds and each of the lamps in the big circle of light was filled with them, one globe having eight birds in it. These birds are of every known variety, and many unknown, or rather unfamiliar, species among the lot. All shades and colors are there -- scarlet, blue, pink, red, canary, mottled, black and white, and there were some snipe and plover among them. The theory is that they were migratory flocks going from South to North and were attracted by the great light, which the moment they touched killed them. The birds are all of the small species. There was a countless number of them, enough to trim all the ladies; hats in Illinois. Many Bohemians were in the streets with bags and baskets, and in less than two hours the streets were cleared of every vestige of the bird shower, but the roof of the Board of Trade is now covered, and the janitors will remove them to-day.

May 18, 1886. A shower of birds. The strange thing that happened to Chicago during a storm. Macon (Georgia) Weekly Telegraph 61(7): 10.