State officials are looking into why as many as 100 starlings were found dead along Interstate 5 north of Redding. The birds were first spotted on Saturday along the northbound shoulder of I-5 just south of the Wonderland Boulevard exit. Pete Figura, a biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was the first time he had personally heard about a bird die off, but had heard about it before elsewhere. "And it is often hard to figure out what happened," Figura said. The agency had not come to any conclusions about why the birds died, he said, but with the birds found so close to the freeway, they could have been killed by a passing car or truck, he said. Starlings usually fly in flocks, which would explain why if they were struck by a passing vehicle, they would all be found in close proximity to each other, he said. An official with the agency collected some of the dead birds for testing to see whether poison or disease could have played a part in the deaths. Figura said his office has received several inquiries about the birds. Jim Wiegand said he first saw the birds around noon on Sunday. At that time there seemed to be more birds near the road than on Monday, when he returned to take photos. He said the bird deaths raise many questions. The birds that weren't in the roadway didn't seem to show signs of trauma from crashing into vehicles or being struck. And if they were killed by disease or poison, he wondered why they would all be together. "It's very unusual," Wiegand said. "It's very bizarre." Cheyanne Spinks of Shasta Lake said she was on her way to Lake Shasta on Monday when she saw the birds on the side of the freeway and stopped to investigate. She said she counted 65 birds near the northbound lanes of the freeway and 10 more near the southbound lanes.