Hundreds of turtle doves found dead


Eating too many sunflower seeds has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of turtle doves in Italy

Hundreds of dead turtle doves have been found in a town in northern Italy.

An Italian association for bird protection said that more than 700 dead birds have been picked up since January 1 from the streets of Faenza, about 30 miles south east of Bologna.

Scientists have carried out tests to discover why the birds died but Nadia Caselli of the bird association said they appear to have overeaten sunflower seeds, which damage their livers and kidneys. The seeds are mostly waste from a nearby oil factory.

Unlike stronger birds like pigeons, turtle doves are also debilitated by cold weather.

The mass deaths follow similar cases recently in the United States and Sweden.

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