FACT CHECK: Facebook Video Shows Dead Birds In South Dakota, Not China

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purports to show dead birds in China following recent cold temperatures.

Verdict: False

While China has been experiencing cold temperatures recently, according to Deutsche Welle, the video shows dead birds in South Dakota and was originally shared on Instagram.

Fact Check:

Amid recent cold temperatures in China, agricultural experts have assessed potential damage to spring vegetable crops, according to the South China Morning Post. China is expected to continue experiencing cold temperatures this week, the outlet reported.

“What can cause this? Today, temperatures in Xinjiang, China dropped 45° almost instantly to a low of -52℃ (-61.6℉), killing hundreds of waterfowl. Will they blame this on global warming?” the video’s caption purports. In the video, a multitude of dead birds can be seen lying on a frozen landscape.
The video does not show dead birds in China, however. Check Your Fact was able to trace the original video back to Instagram where it was shared by photographer Sean Weaver on Feb. 17.
“EDIT: these birds are from a die off two months ago. The video was recorded two days ago and was the worst die off I had seen. These being juveniles in the video and being froze into the ice in South Dakota signifies this is NOT fresh. Sent to me by my friend Nate. Holy shit. I don’t know what to even say. Avian influenza? Cold snap? Both?” Weaver wrote of the video.
The video was also featured in a Feb. 20 article from Outdoor Life highlighting a mass die-off of snow geese in South Dakota. According to the outlet, 1,000 to 1,500 dead snow geese appeared in the Instagram video. It is believed the geese died as a result of a new strain of avian influenza, the outlet indicated.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sean Weaver (@seanweaverdwc)

Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find any credible news reports to support the claim that the Facebook video showed dead birds in China. Actually, the opposite is true. Full Fact, an outlet based in the U.K., also indicated the video showed dead birds in South Dakota.
Although the video shows dead geese in South Dakota and not China, China has been experiencing cold temperatures recently, according to Deutsche Welle, with the equivalent of 1.6 inches of snow recently falling in Beijing. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Ukrainian Drone Attack On Civilians)
Check Your Fact has contacted Weaver for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter