Kevin Robinson  Pensacola News

Feb 8 2020


More than two dozen birds were found dead on a Pensacola sidewalk Friday, and there are no immediate answers as to why.

The birds were concentrated at the southeast corner of Jefferson and Intendencia streets, though people reported others on surroundings streets and canopies. A crowd of stunned, heartbroken onlookers gathered and tried to puzzle out among themselves what happened.

Phillip Darby, a professor of wildlife ecology at the University of West Florida, didn’t see the carnage first-hand, but he said his educated guess was that the birds had crashed into a building.

More than two dozen birds were found dead at the intersection of Jefferson and Intendencia streets on Friday.

He said birds tend to follow a pretty set migratory path, and that if there is new construction along the route — particularly large buildings with lots of glass — birds can be disoriented by reflections of trees or the sky and crash into them as a flock.

Still, onlookers at nearby businesses said they hadn’t heard any collision, and there didn’t seemed to be any visible damage to windows.

Jean-Pierre N’Dione, a co-owner of Angelena’s restaurant near where the birds were found, said, “out of nowhere, they started falling.”

He said staff reached out to city and state environmental staff in the hopes that they could figure out what happened.

Some onlookers outside speculated that the deaths may be related to a chemical or pesticide, but Darby said those were unlikely causes in an instance with this many deaths.

More than two dozen birds were found dead at the intersection of Jefferson and Intendencia streets in downtown Pensacola on Friday.

Downtown employees cleaned up the area, and took one surviving bird to a wildlife conservation office in hopes of getting it help.

Debbie Muncell, who was visiting the area from Ottawa, Canada, watched the situation sadly.

“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” she said. “It’s disturbing.”

Kevin Robinson can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8527.