Environment: Bye-Bye Blackbirds

"I'm satisfied with the operation. We had reasonably good success." commented Brigadier General John N. Brandenberg after surveying the combat zone last week. Littering a wooded area at Fort Campbell, Ky., were about 500,000 corpses—of blackbirds. Brandenberg did not mention that some 4.5 million other blackbirds were still very much alive in the trees.

The operation was the start of the U.S. Army's "blackbird control program." Last fall the birds had descended on southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee like a biblical plague. In addition to Fort Campbell's flock of 5 million, there were...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!