(Photo credit: WINK News)

Last week, dozens of cattle egrets flew into cars on I-75 in Lee County, Florida and died. Now, the highway is littered with their corpses.

While some people blamed the toxic green algae and red tide for the deaths along the stretch from Fort Myers to Naples, the truth is, no one is sure what happened.

(Also, how much more can the animals and our environment in Florida take before it becomes a wasteland? What are our officials doing and thinking? When is enough, enough?)

Local CBS affiliate, WINK, spoke to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who said, “The FWC has a place on our website to report bird die offs [and a place to] fill out a form and then it goes to our lab in Gainesville, and they’ll process it.”1


That’s it? They don’t seem concerned or curious about what happened. But shouldn’t they be?

However, when WINK reached out to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) research facility on Sanibel Island, they gave another potential explanation for the deaths: a controlled burn off of Daniels Parkway not far from where the birds were. Brian Bohlman of the center said, “…one of the things that they actually do is they will actually fly toward smoke and brush fires to eat all of the bugs and stuff that get stirred up by the fires.” 2

So there’s at least one explanation. The other is that they are fearless birds and accidentally flew into all the cars.

We will update you once we have more info.


  1. WINK, CBS
  2. WINK, CBS