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  1. #1
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    hark's Avatar

    Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    Something showed up in my Facebook news feed so I searching online for more information. Has anyone heard about a disease killing birds at an alarming rate?

    I copied the following information from this link:
    https://nypost.com/2021/06/22/myster...ds-in-dc-area/

    'Birds of the mid-Atlantic are disappearing at an alarming rate, says the U.S. Geological Survey, which is urging residents to refrain from feeding the animals until more is known about a mysterious disease that causes eye swelling, neurological damage and, ultimately, death.

    In a recent joint statement by the USGS on behalf of a number of state agencies throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and DC, they warned that birds that congregate in feeders and baths are likely to transmit the illness, which has not yet been identified by wildlife experts. They ask residents to disinfect and remove such ornaments from their homes until the “mortality event” has ended and more is known about how the disease can be treated or prevented.

    They’re also asking residents to contact their state or district wildlife conservation agency if they spot or come in contact with sick dead birds in the area, especially if they exhibit signs of eye inflammation and discharge, imbalance or seizures. While the illness does not appear to be transmissible to humans or other animal species, extreme hygienic precautions should be taken if handling one of these birds becomes necessary.

    More than 325 reports of birds exhibiting symptoms of eye swelling and discharge, uneven movement, seizure and death have been reported from the mid-Atlantic region since May. Those who do are also being directed to notify the USGS.

    Megan Kirchgessner, a veterinarian with Virginia’s Department of Wildlife Resources, told the Washington Post the phenomenon is “significant” for how “widespread” it is. “And it’s continuing,” she added, as more than 325 reports of ailing birds have been collected so far by the agencies since they first identified the mysterious ailment in May.

    Summer is primetime for birdwatching at your window, but Kirchgessner urges birders to leave them to their own devices this season.

    “From a veterinary perspective, especially in the springtime when food is abundant, there’s no reason for those feeders to be out,” she told WaPo. “And to be perfectly honest, especially in a situation like this, they can do more harm than good.”

    Severe side effects appear to be confined to two bird species, grackles and blue jays, and particularly to their young that are not fully able to fly and feed themselves.

    “This is truly scary,” Jim Monsma, head organizer for DC’s City Wildlife, told DCist. “We don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, as it were, yet. And it’s just every day more and more birds.”

    Infected birds identified by the agency are being euthanized on the spot.

    “At this point, we’re so inundated, we are just euthanizing because it’s a miserable condition for these birds,” Monsma told DCist. “Our role at this point is simply to spare them additional suffering and an inevitable death.”

    Meanwhile, there’s been speculation by citizen scientists, the Charlotte Observer reported, that the affliction may be linked to Brood X cicadas, which awakened and emerged this spring after 17 years underground. Gackles and blue jays are known to eat the rare insects, which may become “fungus-infested” during their subterranean sleep. However, no scientists have so far supported this hypothesis.'


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  2. #2
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    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    We've had reports in the news about this here in West Virginia. We put our feeders away in early April, but some of our neighbors still have theirs' up. Whether it's related or not, 2-3 weeks ago, there were 3 dead robins laying within 30 feet of each other in the small field behind our house that we share with neighbors.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    There was a salmonella outbreak recently that mostly affects birds using feeders. We were told to put away feeders for a while until the outbreak subsided. Haven't heard of this one though.
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  4. #4
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    hark's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg Pics View Post
    There was a salmonella outbreak recently that mostly affects birds using feeders. We were told to put away feeders for a while until the outbreak subsided. Haven't heard of this one though.
    When I did a search for more information, Indiana has quite a few cases, too. It's really a shame.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    Maybe its relater to this outbreak:
    Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu Outbreak Already Reported in 46 Countries

    https://www.sciencealert.com/highly-...cientists-warn
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     

  6. #6
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Needa View Post
    Maybe its relater to this outbreak:
    Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu Outbreak Already Reported in 46 Countries

    https://www.sciencealert.com/highly-...cientists-warn
    Wow, I didn't know it was that extensive.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    ​https://seattleaudubon.org/learn/birds-of-wa/bird-facts/bird-diseases/salmonellosis/
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     

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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    Wow, I didn't know it was that extensive.
    Didn't see any mention of it being here but who knows.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    @hark

    Affected species include blue jays, common grackles, American robins, northern cardinals and European starlings, in states such as Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

    Toxicological tests and autopsies have so far provided no conclusive answers, but have ruled out some of the usual suspects like avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and salmonella.


    https://www.sciencealert.com/songbir...eral-us-states
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     

  10. #10
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Mysterious Disease Killing Birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Needa View Post
    @hark

    Affected species include blue jays, common grackles, American robins, northern cardinals and European starlings, in states such as Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

    Toxicological tests and autopsies have so far provided no conclusive answers, but have ruled out some of the usual suspects like avian influenza virus, West Nile virus and salmonella.


    https://www.sciencealert.com/songbir...eral-us-states
    Thanks for this, Jeff. I haven't see anything firsthand in my yard, but someone in my area found a fledgling robin that wouldn't stop crying out and was acting unusual. Whether it was simply affected by the immense heat we've experienced or if it's because the parents weren't helping to feed it, no one knows. Some of us suggested she take it to a wildlife center - no clue whether or not she did. But there are some reports of affected birds here in Pennsylvania.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci







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