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Dead birds are falling from the sky in Ohio. Are cicadas to blame?

Cicadas have taken the blame for a lot lately, like noise complaints and accidents. Could the sudden death of birds be next?

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Cicadas have taken the blame for a lot lately, like noise complaints and accidents. Could the sudden death of birds be next?

Brian Banbury with the Ohio Division of Wildlife told sister station WLWT they are in the preliminary investigation stage to find the answer.

"It's not impossible that it's not cicada related. But it's not overly likely," Banbury said.

Dead birds are showing up in large numbers across the Cincinnati area.

Banbury said the birds appear to have neurological issues or vision problems. One Northside resident told WLWT reporter Allison Rogers they found four dead birds in their backyard within two weeks.

"Really, the only way that it's a cicada-related issue is if it were pesticides or some sort of weird bacterial infection, but, interestingly, lots of things — animals — are eating cicadas right now," Banbury said.

Animals like squirrels, wild turkeys and your pets are getting in on the feeding frenzy; however, there are no reports of them being affected like the birds. That's a key point when tracking down the source of the problem.

"Something has changed in their environment that's affecting them, whether it's a manmade cause, whether it's just a breakout," Banbury said.

He said younger blue jays and grackles are the primary birds impacted.

"It is hard to speculate long-term effects of this because we don't know how many individual animals will be affected, how many won't, is it cicada related, is it not related," he said.