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1,000 turtle doves fall from the sky in Italy

After cavalcades of dead birds and fish from Arkansas and Texas to Sweden and New Zealand, tests are being carried out on the bodies of turtle doves in Italy after hundreds rained down near Ravenna.

For the last five days wildlife experts and officers from the forestry commission have picked up more than 1,000 turtle doves as well as other birds including pigeons.

Yesterday alone 300 corpses were recovered with all of them having a blue tinge to their beaks, which scientists say indicates poisoning or hypoxia which is lack of oxygen that can confuse animals.

The incident in the town of Faenza in northern Italy comes after a series of similar cases across the world in the United States and Sweden.

It is not just birds that have been affected, with millions of dead fish also washing up on river banks and coastlines.

The turtle dove case is the largest incident to have hit Europe so far — in Sweden 50 jackdaws were found dead. Italian officials said they expected results from the tests on Monday.

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