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Intrigue soars as 75 starlings fall out of sky

Mystery surrounds the deaths of 75 starlings which fell out of the sky and on to the driveway of a house.

RSPCA staff were called by police to a house in Coxley, Somerset, on Sunday following reports of "whooshing" sounds and birds dropping to the ground in a 12ft area.

A welfare officer discovered that most of the birds had suffered broken beaks, broken legs and wings and abdominal injuries, but were otherwise in good bodily condition.

All but five of the birds were dead and they had to be put to sleep by veterinary staff at the RSPCA's West Hatch Wildlife Centre, Taunton, Somerset, because of their severe injuries.

There is no evidence that the birds had been poisoned or were ill before they crashed into the ground.

RSPCA animal welfare officer Alison Sparkes said: "It was a remarkable sight and I've never seen anything like it before.

"They appeared to be in good condition other than injuries that they appear to have suffered when they hit the ground.

"Our best guess is that this happened because the starlings were trying to escape a predator such as a sparrowhawk and ended up crash-landing."