When birds began mysteriously falling from the sky a couple of weeks ago, some conspiratorial minds were convinced that the government was involved. One line of speculation held that the Pentagon was conducting a secret weapons experiment that killed the birds. Another theorized that the feds were covering up the air-befouling practices of a major player in agribusiness or the energy industry.
Now we know that the government did have a hand in at least one of the kills, though this revelation doesn't seem to involve sinister intrigue.
Yes, the Agriculture Department said Thursday, it did have a hand in the recent mass killing of starlings in South Dakota. According to the USDA, the birds were poisoned in Nebraska to help farmers who had complained about starling flocks defecating into livestock feed troughs. The birds dropped dead en masse after migrating north.