Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 17, 2023

These birds didn’t die because of the Ohio train derailment. Image is from 2018

If Your Time is short

  • This photo was taken in April 2018 in Little Rock, Arkansas. 
  • A local ornithologist said the birds may have died after getting intoxicated from fermented berries and then falling from high heights. 

After authorities told residents it was safe to return after a chemical spill caused by a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, some reported finding dead fish and chickens in the area. 

A recent Facebook post suggests fallout from the derailment has reached Ohio’s southern neighbor, Kentucky. 

"Maybe we should be concerned with what’s going on in Ohio," the Feb. 16 post says. "These birds dropped de@d in Ky."

An image in the post shows a street littered with about a dozen birds. 

But a reverse image search quickly led us to a different conclusion than this Facebook post, which was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

The photo was taken in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, in April 2018. 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the birds were likely cedar waxwings, which feed almost exclusively on berries. 

Karen Rowe, an ornithologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, told the newspaper that recent warm days and cool nights may have caused berries in the area to ferment, getting the birds so intoxicated that they fell out of trees or off buildings and died.

We rate claims that a photo shows dead birds in Kentucky in the wake of the Ohio train derailment False.


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

These birds didn’t die because of the Ohio train derailment. Image is from 2018

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up