January 2nd, 2012
05:17 PM ET
It has been a mystery for decades, and it just may be solved now.
Scientists say they may have discovered what caused birds to slam into homes in Monterey Bay, California in the summer of 1961. The mysterious event inspired Alfred Hitchcock's famous classic "The Birds," which was released in 1963.
Louisiana State University ocean environmentalist Sibel Bargu told USA Today that it appeared that the birds were suffering from poison.
In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Bargu argues that "toxin-making algae were present in 79 percent of the plankton" the birds ate. The toxins contained "a nerve-damaging acid, which causes confusion, seizures and death in birds."
"All the symptoms were extremely similar to later bird poisoning events in the same area," Bargu said.
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