Birds are dropping dead in New Mexico, potentially in the ‘hundreds of thousands’

Wildlife experts in New Mexico say birds in the region are dropping dead in alarming numbers, potentially in the “hundreds of thousands.” “It appears to be an unprecedented and a very large number,” Martha Desmond, a professor at New Mexico State University’s department of fish, wildlife, and conservation ecology, told NBC’s Albuquerque affiliate KOB.

Desmond also told KOB the deaths could be related to the wildfires in the West. “There may have been some damage to these birds in their lungs. It may have pushed them out early when they weren’t ready to migrate.”

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said on Twitter that “not much is known about the impacts of smoke and wildfires on birds.”

NBC Birds are dropping dead in New Mexico, potentially in the ‘hundreds of thousands’