• Bloodstains were still visible on a few windows where the birds smashed themselves
  • A few birds that were found alive were taken to rescue centers
  • Residents are now closing their curtains and covering glass windows with newspapers

The city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia, China is witnessing a rare and mysterious phenomenon in which hundreds of waxwings are found dead outside a Chinese apartment block every day.

A report that appeared in New York Post said most of the birds have smashed straight into the building's transparent glass windows before plummeting to death onto the concrete at the base of the building. Bloodstains were still visible on a few windows where the birds smashed themselves. A video by HK News shows the carcasses piled up before the building.

The incident, which has since been reported to the Wildlife Protection Office of Baotou Ecological Wetland Protection and Management Centre, has puzzled scientists and authorities. While the local officials say the area has abundant food and water for the waxwings, experts who have collected samples from the bird bodies have ruled out diseases.

Representative image Pixabay

Local people have taken a few birds that were found alive, to rescue centers in Inner Mongolia. These birds sustained various injuries, including broken wings and necks.

Although experts are mostly clueless about the phenomenon, one theory doing rounds say waxwings are so easily spooked by noise, causing the panicked birds to fly straight into the glass to escape any potential threat.

The residents have now closed their curtains and put up newspapers behind window panes so as not to affect the sight of the birds.

Another theory suggests that the birds, which move in large numbers, are simply flying too fast to be fully aware of potential dangers such as glass windows.

According to experts, birds may fly into windows in an intoxicated state. In 2018, an article that appeared in Bird Watching Daily has expert Julie Craves explaining the phenomenon.

"Waxwings feed in flocks. They may have been startled and as a group flew into a window or against the building. Or the berries may have fermented, turning their sugar into alcohol. Believe it or not, the waxwings could have become intoxicated after eating the berries, collided with the building or a window, and died from their injuries," she said.