Nearly a week ago, dozens of black birds fell from the sky in Winnipeg, Canada, in fashion some described as “like raindrops” — and officials are still not sure why.

Toxicology tests are being conducted on the birds to evaluate the cause, but The Verge reported a spokesperson from Manitoba saying West Nile virus and bird flu have already been ruled out.

dead bird canada

One of the dead birds, identified as grackles, which died last Wednesday in Canada. The deaths are currently under investigation. (Image: CBC video screenshot)

Erika Anseeuw with the Winnipeg Humane Society, which took in nearly a dozen birds found alive, told CBC the birds were alert but couldn’t stand or fly and would be euthanized for testing. About 50 dead birds were reportedly collected in the incident.

She said she suspects the birds ate something “rather than any kind of apocalyptic foretelling of birds falling from the sky.”

Canada’s National Post reported some witness accounts and their theories as to what might have caused the deaths:

“I saw birds, some of them falling from the sky,” said Ramadan Sakoli, who works in the area. “It’s something in the skies. It was affecting them and they were dropping dead,” he said.

[...]

Restaurant owner Susan Tiginagas said: “There’s so many of them and they were going crazy.”

City worker Cameron Vonau said he’s never seen that many dead birds in one area.

“This is pretty crazy. I get calls for maybe one or two at the same location,” Vonau said.

Vonau wasn’t sure how the grackles were killed but suspects they were pecking on poison intended for pigeons that was put out on the roof of the centre.

“Sometimes people put out rat poison and the birds get into that,” he said. “That would be my guess as to what happened here.

common grackle

A common grackle. (Photo via Wikimedia)

CBC reported Susan Tiganagis saying the death of the birds looked like a “blanket of black” and that her husband  said it was like “a Hitchcock movie,” comparing it to the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds.”

the birds alfred hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcocks 1960s film had unexplained bird attacks in its plot. Some in Canada have said the deaths of the birds seemed like this film. (Image: Universal Pictures via Wikimedia)

Watch CBC’s report about the mysterious mass death with witness accounts of the bizarre event:

(H/T: io9)