WOODBURY COUNTY, Iowa – More than 200 ducks were killed after they mistook wet pavement for wetland marshes and were hit by vehicles, wildlife officials said.
“I counted over 200 dead ducks on the highway, and can only imagine how many dead ones were out of sight in the ditch,” Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer Steve Griebel said in a statement. “It was all different species, mostly bluebills, but there were mallards, buffleheads, teal. It must have been an epic migration.”
The birds started migrating when a cold front descended on Canada and the Dakotas. A rare weather phenomenon where a cold front collides with a strong front confused the migrating birds. A strong rain then forced the flocks to land.
“This is a unique, one-time event that there’s nothing much we could do about, and should be over now,” Orrin Jones, a waterfowl biologist for the state wildlife agency, said in a statement.
Properly licensed residents are allowed to harvest the birds, KCAU reported.