Old Video of Birds Flying Over Highway Falsely Linked to Turkey Earthquake

The video could be traced back to January 2017 and is from Houston, US.

2 min read
Old Video of Birds Flying Over Highway Falsely Linked to Turkey Earthquake
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A video, which shows a swarm of birds frantically flying over a highway, is being shared to claim that it was taken before the earthquakes that rattled parts of Turkey and Syria. The quakes have reportedly resulted in the death of more than 15,000 people.

An archive of the post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(More archives to similar claims can be found here, here, and here.)

Where is the video from?: The video could be traced back to at least January 2017 and shows a swarm of birds hovering over a highway in Houston, United States.


What led us to the truth?: Using InVID, a video verification tool, we extracted several keyframes from the video and performed a reverse image search on them.

  • We found a report published in The Sun, a British tabloid, which carried the viral video and was published on 26 January 2017.

  • It mentioned that the footage showed a massive swarm of crows invading a busy motorway.

  • The report further mentioned that the video was from a highway in Houston, Texas.

The report was published in January 2017. 

(Source: The Sun/Screenshot)

  • Daily Mail published a similar report and also carried some pictures from the incident.

Geolocating the highway: In one of the pictures, we noticed the word "Royal Sonesta" written on a building.

The word "Royal Sonesta" can be seen written on the building.

(Source: DailyMail/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

We searched for the name of the building on Google Earth and used the 'street view option'.

The available view is from November 2022 and shows some similarities.

A comparison between both pictures clearly shows some similarities.

(Source: Google Earth/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

Conclusion: This video is old and does not show a swarm of birds frantically flying over Turkey before the earthquakes.


(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Syria   Turkey   Fact Check 

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