12 September 2012

Singular Occurrence

One night a short time since an immense flock of birds passed over Sharpsville, Mercer county. In their course they flew over the Douglas furnaces, and commenced dropping by the hundreds, until there was a perfect shower of them. It is supposed they became bewildered, and flying too near the furnaces were suffocated by the gas and smoke. A great many of them were badly burned, and the stench becoming so great, that they were gathered up and thrown into the furnaces. The next morning dead birds were found lying all about the vicinity of the furnaces, and a number of persons collected them by the basketful, for the purpose of having them stuffed, and taxidermists were in demand. The singular part of the affair is that the birds were of different species — embracing bluebirds, redbirds, woodcocks, yellow birds, wild ducks, and a number of varieties — many of them having beautiful plumage. How such a collection migrated together is a mystery.

June 19, 1878. Somerset Herald 27(2): 1. Issued at Somerset, Pa.