A&M to Investigate Mysterious Austin Bird Deaths

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Texas A&M health experts will be at the forefront of an investigation into the deaths of birds in downtown Austin.

An estimated 63 grackles, sparrows and pigeons were found dead Monday morning, prompting fears of a potential health scare and forcing the closure of the downtown area. But after preliminary investigations, Austin health experts do not believe there is a threat to humans.

Downtown was reopened around 1 p.m.

A&M and the US Centers for Disease Control will test the dead birds for possible poisoning and viral infections.

Austin officials do not believe a strain of the infamous bird flu is responsible for the deaths.

The following story is from the Associated Press:

Austin police have reopened a ten-block stretch of Congress Avenue after as many as 60 birds were found dead today.

Preliminary tests showed no dangerous chemicals in the area, and officials say there's no public health threat. The carcasses of the grackles, sparrows and pigeons are being tested.

The closure -- on the eve of the 80th legislative session -- came after the dead birds were discovered overnight along Congress between Sixth and Eighth streets.

There were no reports of humans harmed. Federal officials also monitored the situation.