Deciphering Two Omens: 5,000 Dead Red-Winged Birds and 100,000 Dead Drum Fish in Arkansas

There’s a flurry of talk about recent events in Arkansas. Scientists and environmentalists are probing as to why 5,000 dead birds and 100,000 dead fish showed up within a day of each other, and just a few miles from each other in Arkansas. Theories range from thunderstorms, disturbances in earthquake zones, hail storms, poisons, disease, or even HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program).


/ Photo by hart_curt /

I don’t want to suggest I have all the answers, but I do have enough information to get us looking at these events with new eyes and at the messages behind these events. We can begin to ask new questions about the nature of these messages.

The Sequence of Events in Arkansas

1. On Thursday, December 30th, a tugboat operator discovers 100,000 dead drum fish washed up along the shores of the Arkansas River near the city of Ozark. Ozark is a civil war landmark and a stop on the Apache Trail of Tears. Ozark is in Franklin County, the northwest corner of Arkansas.

2. On Friday, December 31st, one day later, an EF3 tornado (Severe; winds between 136 – 165 mph) whips through the small town of Cincinnati in Washington County, the northwest corner of Arkansas, 3 miles from the Oklahoma border, and within 40 miles of Bentonville, Arkansas — where Wal-Mart’s headquarters are located.

3. On New Year’s Eve, Friday, December 31st, 5,000 dead red-winged blackbirds fall from the skies in the town of Beebe, Arkansas, 40 minutes from Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas.

A few initial observations –

Two of these events are clustered in the northwest corner of Arkansas. There is a directional flow from these events that occurred in the northwest corner heading downstream to Beebe, Arkansas.

What’s sitting there in that northwest corner like the elephant in the room is the headquarters for Wal-Mart, the biggest corporation in the world, and a symbol for unrestrained corporate global trade and commerce.

Characteristics of a Sign

The more mysterious and unusual an event, the more likely it is a sign or omen. Right now everyone is clamoring for a scientific explanation of how something so bizarre can happen. Even when we have a more concrete explanation of how these events occurred, that’s just a mechanical description of events. The strangeness of the occurrences tells us there is a message coming through these events. Perhaps this is an environmental mishap, and that possibility should definitely be investigated, but there is more here to examine: this is a communication, a message, an omen.

Here’s a simple example of how this ‘language of signs’ works: Let’s say the brake warning lights come on in your car for no obvious reason. You have your car checked out by your mechanic, and he says there’s “no problem.” The next day, you narrowly avoid a serious accident because a man runs a red light. The brake warning lights, in this instance, warned of a potential accident not a car repair problem.

It’s not the mysterious causes behind these events that are significant in this case, but what is being told to us through these birds and fish. We need to heed their warning and ask the question: What are they saying and what do they want us to pay attention to?

Key Principles of a Sign:

Signs run on a wave continuum. No event is isolated. One event flows into another like a wave – a continuum. We can receive a preview of what’s coming because this continuum is a continuous line of energy, fluid, directed, like the flow of ocean tides. Past, present, and future events are on the same continuum sharing this line of energy.

Continuum:
~~~~~* event *~~~~~~~~* event *~~~~~~~~* event *~~~~~

The New Year

What happens at the beginning of a cycle is a trail marker. The dead birds and dead fish showed up close to the beginning of the New Year. They are highlighting events for the New Year, which could also impact the following year, 2012.

First Step in Deciphering an Animal Sign: Study their behavior

We watch people and their body language. To study an animal sign, we observe their body language, behavior, and natural habitat.

Characteristics of Drum Fish (Aplodinotus grunniens)

  • They see by reading vibration: otoliths (fish’s earbone), similar to ivory, composed of calcium carbonate. Otoliths measure vibrations in water helping with balance and orientation. Native Americans used these otoliths as protective amulets for good luck.
  • vocal; grunniens means grunting; the adult males have a drumming muscle that vibrates against their swim bladder simulating the sound of a distant drum for communicating signals on aggression and courtship
  • bottom-feeders that use their noses to flip over stones at the base of rivers in search of insects, crayfish, minnows, and mollusks
  • frustrate fisherman; fishermen complain that these fish are notorious for putting up a fight, that they are hard to kill. They are a very mild tasting fish (some people don’t like the lack of flavor), and cook up like a flaky cod.

Think about these qualities on a symbolic level for a bit. Think what it means for their death, the loss of these qualities. Now you begin to receive a picture of the symbolism behind the event.

Meaning of large number of dead drum fish:

  • Loss of discernment and protection, not hearing warnings from a distance (their specialized hearing) about tensions brewing between nations due to economic strife
  • Loss of balance and direction in international business affairs
  • Trouble for “bottom feeders,” corporations who abuse labor laws in order to make astronomical profits
  • Extremely headstrong and stubborn behavior in business relationships (fisherman/fish trade) leading to breakdowns in international trade agreements
  • In general, fish symbolize wealth: Dead fish mean financial loss and lost opportunities

Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus)


/ Photo by kevincole /

  • beautiful, official-looking, commanding bird that’s glossy black with black bill and feet, averaging 8 to 10 inches in length with a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches
  • bright red-orange shoulder feathers (epaulets); males are distinguished by their red-orange shoulder patches with a thin yellow band on their wings. When the male is showing off to attract a mate or defend his breeding territory, these shoulder patches puff up dramatically.
  • seeks habitats near marshes and lake shorelines, also open fields and meadows; prefers cattails to build their nests
  • sings a trilling song that is a harbinger of spring
  • very aggressive and territorial during breeding season. Known to fend off other large birds and even swoop down on horses and humans if they enter their territory during mating season, which is from early spring to mid-summer.
  • engages in surprise attacks during breeding season; after a 10-day incubation period, they are particularly aggressive and can attack from behind startling invaders on their turf
  • highly polygamous, choosing multiple females during mating season, sometimes more than a dozen at a time
  • congregates in large numbers – millions – in the winter months gathering in the evening and fanning out in the morning

Meaning of large number of dead red-winged blackbirds:

  • Being caught off guard by sudden conflicts between nations (because of the large number of birds involved here)
  • Warning of brash and aggressive behavior between nations: Use diplomacy
  • Trouble beginning to develop in the spring and escalating in June or July (breeding season = defensiveness on the rise) in 2011, and 2012
  • Increasing tension between nations; leaders on edge, tense, easily ticked off: Pause before speaking
  • Watch for territorial behavior among nations that is obsessive, controlling, potentially destructive for world affairs: Top-Dog behavior among the Superpowers

Let’s focus particularly on the bird’s most distinguishing mark, its red and yellow shoulder patches.

What I immediately noticed is that those red-orange wing epaulets look like a military uniform. In fact, the word “epaulet” comes from military uniforms with ornamental shoulders. My first instinct is to read these red-winged birds as symbolizing aggressive positioning by some nation.

But which country? The coloring doesn’t fit with colors associated with the United States. That’s when I started looking at the flags of the world’s nations. Of all the flags and national colors, those red-orange epaulets with their thin band of yellow underneath strongly correspond to — the Chinese flag. See for yourself. Take a look at the Chinese flag for a moment, with its redish-orange field and five yellow stars, then look once more at the photo of the red-winged blackbird. (Isn’t it interesting how the yellow on the bird’s wing appears in an arc or crescent, similar to the pattern of stars on China’s flag?) There’s no other flag that matches this color pattern as closely. See pictures below.


/ Photo by hart_curt /

Next Step: Check for Associations, Relationships, and Connections

Why Arkansas? We ask the questions – who and what are in Arkansas? Where are they located in Arkansas? This is like connecting the dots. Every event is built on a series of relationships. Find the relationships, and decipher more details from the sign.

Governor Beebe, the governor for Arkansas, has the same name as the town of Beebe where the red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky.

The number five is highlighted in these events: 5,000 dead birds descended on Beebe nearly matching its population of 5,618 (2009: clrsearch.com). The volume of the numbers involved in these omens suggests we will feel a colossal impact, not just on towns in Arkansas, but around the world, affecting both weather patterns and international trade relationships.

Governor Beebe may have his hands full with disaster relief this year, and into 2012.

This indicates a lot of damage control may be necessary in several arenas. The number five in numerology represents: foreign languages, international relations, public communication, sales and commerce, political administration, risk taking, travel, decisions, and change.

There could be an upsurge of problems by spring (the beginning of the red-winged blackbird’s mating season, when their aggression rises), around the 5th month, May. May through mid-July is when aggression or turbulence could peak.

Arkansas, Wal-Mart, and the World Economy

Arkansas is home to the biggest corporation in the world: Wal-Mart. Their headquarters is in Bentonville, the northwest corner of Arkansas, a mere 40 miles from where the tornado hit on Friday morning, December 31st. The dead drum fish also appeared in the northwest corner of Arkansas near Ozark.

Wal-Mart is a repeat offender of employee rights violations both in the U.S. and abroad: workers’ compensation, sexual discrimination, employee surveillance, child labor, and disability.

Wal-Mart imports largely from China where they rely heavily on sweatshop labor, mostly women and girls who are paid under 30 cents hour. This is virtually slave labor.

“Seventy-one percent of the toys sold in the United States come from China, and Wal-Mart now sells one out of the five of the toys we buy.” ~Jim Hightower, The Independent

The Wal-Mart business model creates a brutal cycle of world impoverishment: Americans with less and less money buy items from Wal-Mart because their products are cheap. That money goes into the pockets of the Walton Family that owns Wal-Mart, and the rest goes overseas to China to boost the Chinese economy, while perpetuating the poverty of Chinese workers. Since very little of the money spent at Wal-Mart circulates back into the American economy in general, the average American gets poorer, needs to buy cheaper goods… and so spends more of their money at Wal-Mart. And the cycle begins all over again.

These recent events were clustered near Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Northwestern Arkansas. Wal-Mart may experience a shake-up (tornado-like conditions), specifically with its trade agreement with China. Because of the immensity of Wal-Mart, this would have a ripple affect on the larger economy.

Wal-Mart itself is the biggest example of this form of international business. Other corporations that follow Wal-Mart’s business model may also encounter some major disruptions.

Arkansas and National Government

Beebe, Arkansas, where thousands of dead birds appeared, is within 35 miles of Little Rock, Arkansas, the state capital. Here we find political connections to both state and federal governments. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, of course, have their roots in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Birds also represent the air element: communication, ideas, and thoughts. Think about this as an omen: Thousands of dead birds in the state capital with connections to the federal government, former President and current Secretary of State. It suggests significant breakdowns in communication between nations that could escalate into more aggressive tactics.

Relations between the U.S. and other nations may encounter the following:

  • Bullying behavior between nations, leaders won’t budge
  • Negotiations collapse, efforts to communicate go to the wayside
  • Actions speak louder than words, enforcements are put into place
  • Anger spikes between nations; leaders bump heads, heated discussions
  • Increased violence within countries: domestic violence, terrorist activity, civil unrest
  • Nations jostle for position and take territorial positions: showdowns

The Bottom Line: The Economy, China, and Conflict

In reading these signs, how do we bring this all together into a coherent picture? Let’s gather together the key elements and see what sort of pattern they form. Here’s how I read it:

  • Upheaval in international business relations
  • Conflicts with China, beginning with a rupture in trade agreements, possibly with long-term consequences
  • Timing: Beginning in the spring and escalating through mid-summer with ripple effects into 2012. We must be cautious during the same time period in 2012, from May through mid-July.

I don’t want to suggest that this is the one and only possible “answer” to how we can read these signs. Instead, I want to point out the extraordinary relationship between these strange events and international politics and the economy. Ancient cultures would have immediately recognized these as powerful omens that deserve our serious attention. I have tried to suggest one way to look at these signs, to begin to understand them, and to uncover their meaning.

I hope the exploration of these signs opens up discussion. We shouldn’t just be asking how these strange events happened. Let’s begin to ask what they mean. I hope I’ve provided a good starting point. Now it’s your turn.

11 comments on “Deciphering Two Omens: 5,000 Dead Red-Winged Birds and 100,000 Dead Drum Fish in Arkansas

  1. Cheryl says:

    Hi, I think you have a really good point. I, myself, thought it was a sign due to the fact of the date, and the specific areas that were affected. I think it is a sign also of how many of the old ways are dying, that which no longer serves our highest good. I know that may sound harsh, but sometimes it takes something really big, (and sometimes disasterous) to get our attention. We are all spiritual beings, and there is always a higher purpose. One that stems from love, and we are not there yet. I do believe we are getting close though.

  2. Maya says:

    It is amazing that there is hardly any news on this subject, there have also been massive fish kills in new Zealand and more dead birds in Italy and I think Sweden. Your interpretation is fascinating and to the point, I admit not looking at those events as signs but it makes a lot of sense.

  3. Flying Dragon says:

    It is not just in Arkansas ..Birds dropped out of the sky in Italy .And New Zealand ……and there was another enormous fish kill ….http://www.eutimes.net/2011/01/birds-and-fish-are-now-dying-all-around-the-world/..

    And scarier than the original article ……is all the updates……..

    This is global ..and many species ….eagles…….turrtle doves……and many speices of fish ……….

  4. Kat Lindgren says:

    Since much of humanity lives disconnected from the wonderful wild and natural world, many early indicators have been missed, or explained through some sort of rationalization. Science has said they have found no links between these events, yet First Nations peoples have spoken of these events for eons. Perhaps looking at the Pachakuti (world turned upside-down) related magnetic polarity shifts that are slated (at least in Peruvian Shamanism) to occur around 12/21/2012 (Mayan calendar cycle date).
    Observably, we have honey bee die off (globally), as well as sea birds (California), sea life in Parana (Brazil) as well as England and the U.S., blackbirds of course (Arkansas), Jackdaws (Sweden). Many of these events have occurred in the last 8 months, some in the last 2 years, but at any rate a definable increase in such events is happening.
    Polar or magnetic fields shift periodically, and have through the history of this planet. On another level though polar shifts speak to a shift in consciousness or awareness of our place on the web of life, a realization that mankind is not master of this domain, merely a stuart, a help mate. Unfortunately, many indigenous insights, and wisdoms, that would help us adapt and grow during a changing environment, have been lost through colonization. Which is fascinating if you look at where these events are occurring, and take into account what has happened to the native peoples of those regions. The wisdom here is in not trying to rule or conquer these earth changes, but to adapt, and work with, in a compatible, harmonious manner. Celebrating and honoring the purpose that seasons, and natural habitats/ landscapes serve, while shifting our own consciousness to one of a global citizen, a member of the planet, and the cosmos, with respect for every living thing that stands, walks, swims or flies.

  5. @Flying Dragon: Thank you for sharing this comprehensive link about the wildlife dying all around the world. Many of these other bird and fish signs occurred after the events in Arkansas, which puts the events in Arkansas at the hub. There is a ricochet effect: Many birds and fish died worldwide within a similar timeframe. As a sign, this could suggest a future event that has a global impact.

  6. @Kat Lindgren: I’m fascinated by the teachings of Peruvian Shamanism, and I want to learn more. Thank you for sharing this! Since the planet is undergoing a polar shift, so are we. Our magnetic fields, our internal circuitry, is being rewired. The bottom three chakra centers (chakras 1-3) focus on survival issues, finances, sexuality, and power. These are in the southern hemisphere of the energetic body, and these energy centers are the focus of the world today.

    A polar shift would awaken the upper energy centers (chakras 4 -7 and beyond), the ‘northern hemisphere,’ which would open the heart, vision, creativity and the arts, and universal consciousness.

    A polar shift is a birth process and the world will go through labor. Can we go through this peacefully and naturally, or will this be a Caesarean birth, birth through difficulty, pain, and suffering?

  7. Julie Julie says:

    Pretty grim. I have been feeling afraid of the world events and politics for a long time… things have never been the same since Sept. 11, 2001.

    Even though I am lucky to still have a job, I am afraid of unemployment and being homeless and that our whole country is going to go down the drain.

    I have been worried that World War 3 could occur sometime soon. And especially worried about China…. 🙁

    It especially sucks bc I am 32… so I’m worried that things could be really bad way in the future when I’m a little old lady, and I’ll be an old, poor, homeless sick lady in a land devastated by war, plague and famine and terrorism. That would suck.

  8. june says:

    Interesting. I told my friend that red wing attacked me from behind and he just laughed. Well, never mind, I was telling someone just the other day about how I had a memory of my dad standing like a heron in the ocean. A few days later a blue heron came across a wide expanse of flooded area and landed just ahead on the 3ft bankment to the sidewalk where I would have to pass him. I paralleled him and we eyeballed each other. The beady little eye. Then I asked him if he wanted some of the birdseed I had in my upraised arm and he noiselessly lifted his wings and went back across the expanse of flooded area. I never would ever have thought that closeness would happen in a million years. Dam I didn’t keep my mouth closed and just wait for the next move. I could see No discernable reason he’d do that. So nature’s intelligent response. There’s absolutely a lot we don’t know and definitely we should tune into nature during these times. thanks

  9. Rin says:

    There are many underhanded things done by certain governments (China) that have come to light. Most people in the US don’t hear about unless they read newspapers from asian countries. Currently, they are using so many illegal toxic chemicals in food products that are being shipped from China and other asian countries. The situation has really gotten out of hand and your should be aware that there’s not only natural disasters in the possible coming years that are “bizarre” as well as poisoning happening to us from food and water. I don’t know how to react. I mean I’m upset, but then I’m not. It was inevitable. The state of the world is a mess and this year has shown me to be quite chaotic. Some don’t believe in dreams, but I do to a certain point. If you pay attention to little things that happen in your daily life, you will start to see the signs. Starting the year out with such bad omens. My brother and I usually don’t dream about anything, but right when the lunar calendar began for us, we had dreams about what I considered to be bad omens. Just look to yourself for the answer, but also remember that where there is darkness there is also light. The two will always be as one.

  10. I agree with Rin. Look at the alarming rates in which children are diagnosed with autism and ADHD. So much of this is damaging the eco system.

    @Michelle I for one opt for the peaceful polar shift but I am doubting this will happen.

  11. psychic says:

    this was a very well written article and certainly thought provoking. Could this also be a sign of another impending financial crisis in regards to the dead fish?

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