A mystery is unfolding in Surrey after a man captured video of a bird floating in the air, motionless.
The footage shows a dark coloured bird in the sky with nothing attached to it. It happened around 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 near L.A. Matheson Secondary School.
“That’s a dead bird and it is just floating in the air, no strings, no nothing,” the man says.
During the video, the man moves around to show there's nothing attached to the bird, nor is it perched on anything. He zooms in on the very lifelike bird, which seems to sway slightly with the wind but does not flinch or move.
"There was absolutely nothing we could see with the human eye that was holding it or attached to it,” says the man, who asked to remain anonymous. "Very weird and eerie.”
He decided to walk underneath the bird to see if anything was attached. He even checked the power lines and nearby houses but couldn't see anything.
“Literally, [it] looked like a dead bird just floating,” he says.
Another person captured the mysterious bird too, and posted it to social media. They were also confused by what they saw.
“It should be moving,” says a person in the video.
Experts weigh in
Some people have questioned if the bird is stuck in an eruv.
In Jewish tradition, on Shabbat, it is forbidden to transfer an object between “domains,” including from one person’s house to another adjacent house.
The eruv — oftentimes a fence or wire string erected on poles — is a symbolic extension of the home to allow for the movement of things.
“An eruv is a boundary that goes around a community that makes it into one giant backyard,” says expert Dov Coodin, who builds them and is based in Ottawa.
“The Jewish people are obligated to keep Sabbath,” he tells Glacier Media. “Jewish people have 613 laws they have to do and Sabbath is just one of them.”
In his 28 years in the industry, he has never seen a bird caught in an eruv.
“We don’t use fishing line. Fishing line is not safe,” says Coodin.
A Vancouver-based rabbi confirms with Glacier Media there is no eruv in Surrey.
Paul Kingsbury, a geography professor at Simon Fraser University, researches and examines paranormal activity. He took a look at the video and has some guesses as to what could be going on.
“I have not conducted any video analysis,” he says. “But given the proximity of trees and telegraph wires, I would suggest some kind of invisible suspension material such as a fishing line is involved rather than a glitch in an incomplete reality.”
After reviewing the video, he’s curious as to why the wire hypothesis has yet to be proven or disproven.
“It was certainly mysterious, perhaps paranormal, but captivating as well, almost reminiscent of an artwork, a kind of impromptu Banksy paranormal moment, perhaps,” he says.
Kristina Deane went to the area to investigate after she was sent the video Wednesday afternoon. When she got there, around 4:30 p.m., the feathered animal was gone.
Kingsbury questions if the bird is actually a prank and wonders if it’ll make a return.
“I wonder if it will come back to the same place, maybe another place. If it is a prank, then someone’s got a bit of talent here and so I wonder if there’ll be a follow-up show,” he says.
“We’re all participating in the mystery.”
A zoology professor at the University of British Columbia, who specializes in birds, chimed in on the debate.
Doug Altshuler says the bird looks dead.
"Birds have to make wing adjustments to hold station,” says Altshuler. "I’m not sure what it is suspended to, but it is suspended to something."
A spokesperson with BC Hydro says they have looked into the bird.
“We can’t speculate on this one, but we know it would not be possible for our power lines to cause something like this,” says the spokesperson.
Environment and Climate Change Canada did look into Glacier Media’s questions about the bird but determined crows do not fall under their Migratory Birds Convention Act, and could not provide input as a result.
A Ministry of Agriculture and Food spokesperson says the Animal Health Centre cannot offer a diagnosis without samples first or examining the bird.
Meanwhile, City of Surrey spokesperson says the bylaw department has not received any reports of the bird.
Birds mysteriously fell from the sky
A B.C. resident watched dozens of birds fall from the sky in Tsawwassen back in 2018.
Environment Canada said the 42 starlings were being chased before they died.
"The informant reported watching a huge grey cloud of birds swooping toward the ground and then pulling back up but the tail end of the flock didn’t pull up in time and about 200 birds collided with the ground," said Marilyne Lavoie with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
"It was a flock of European starlings and the majority recovered; however, 42 birds died on impact."
She added a much larger bird had been chasing the flock, which likely added to their erratic behaviour.
If you saw the floating bird in Surrey, you can send video or photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org.