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Fri Jun 25, 2021, 06:41 AM

We have a serious bird problem in KY and surrounding states.

Kentuckians encouraged to report sick, dead birds to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife

See: https://fw.ky.gov/News/Pages/Bird-Mortality-Event-news.aspx

Snips...
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 18, 2021) To enhance its investigation into unexplained bird mortality occurring in Kentucky, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is asking the public to report encounters with sick and dead birds through a new online reporting system.

In late May, the department began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. Wildlife agencies in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia have reported similar problems.

State wildlife agencies are working with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause of mortality. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has sent more than 20 samples for lab testing to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia. More results are pending, but no definitive cause of death has been identified at this time.

In Kentucky, reports of sick and dying birds have come from Jefferson, Kenton and Boone counties. Species affected thus far have included blue jays, common grackles and European starlings, but other species may be affected as well.


They go on to say....
Birds congregating at feeders and baths can transmit disease to one another. Therefore, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife recommends the public follow these guidelines:

In Jefferson, Boone and Kenton counties:

Cease feeding birds until further notice (when this issue has been resolved);

Statewide:

Clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10 percent bleach solution immediately, then weekly thereafter;
Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

If you must remove dead birds, it is recommended that you place them in a sealable plastic bag and dispose of the bag in a secured outdoor trash can.


This is heartbreaking, as watching my bird friends is one of my few sources of joy, particularly during this pandemic. A few days ago, I watched a mourning dove acting very strangely on my back patio, as if a parasite was attacking its nervous system. I'm going to report that event to the State.

I'm now curious if this could be coming from contaminated bird seed or something carried by other critters such as squirrels.

If you live in one of the above listed states or even an adjacent state, I suggest going to your state's fish and wildlife web site to see if there's a similar notice. Please report any strange behavior or unusual amount of dead birds to your state.

Let's hope this is resolved soon. I now have a new do-list item for today: remove, empty and secure all my feeders and dump my two birdbaths. This will be a good opportunity to give everything a good cleaning.

KY........

(cross-posted from Birders Group)

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Reply We have a serious bird problem in KY and surrounding states. (Original post)
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2021 OP
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2021 #1
VEGANGTA Jun 2021 #2
2naSalit Jun 2021 #3
Probatim Jun 2021 #4
pazzyanne Jun 2021 #6
Ferrets are Cool Jun 2021 #8
Probatim Jun 2021 #9
Evolve Dammit Jun 2021 #5
Bear Creek Jun 2021 #7
Javaman Jun 2021 #10

Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 06:48 AM

1. Thanks for the heads up!

I'm in New York, but surrounded by woods and mountains so we have lots of birds (and other wildlife) here. I'll have to check this out and spread the word, bird feeders are popular here as well.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:09 AM

2. Scotts tainted bird seed

Remember back in 2008 when Scott's (Monsanto) deliberately sold poisoned bird seed? Such a disgrace.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:14 AM

3. I wonder about birds in my area...

southern Montana, we have about 1500 species, most of which migrate out in the fall, but I have seen a number of dead birds, in town especially. Granted, a fair number of young birds don't last long after leaving the nest but an odd set of perennial species seem to be lying around dead this past couple weeks. Crows, magpies but a couple smaller species too. We've had terrible heat here and I suspect that some bacteria are having a growth boom so... birds are vectors for some nasty stuff that we rarely consider.

I wonder if the high temps have had a role in this event by just exhausting the birds as well as creating bio-hazards. I see birds just standing on the ground or some perch with their wings caped and panting while in the shade. Some are just out in the sun unable to move to shade. Canaries in a coalmine sort of thing regarding climate changes.

Good advice for those who put out feeders and baths, clean them like you would your dishes.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:22 AM

4. There have been reports in PA of the same issue.

Some people are attributing it to insecticides being used on cicadas.

The 17 year cicada brood shows up in the billions and birds eat them all day long. Our reptilian brain sees and hears that many bugs and goes into defense mode - MUST KILL!!!

So they spray the bugs. The birds eat the bugs and then die.

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Response to Probatim (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:59 AM

6. Every time something like this shows up in birdland...

...Rachel Carlson comes to mind. In 1962 she wrote the book, "Silent Spring", in which she pointed to DDT and other pesticides as the reason for bird loss. Growing up in Minnesota, I never saw a bald eagle in the wild, and wondered why. She is the reason that I became interested in environmental science and doing my part to improve the natural world around me. I took that interest into my classroom, with environmental focus and the teachings of Rachel Carlson. 60 years later, I monitor two active bald eagle nests within 15 miles of my home. I have occasional sightings of eagles from my front porch. If more people would get involved in improving the environment and using less chemicals we would all be better off.

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Response to Probatim (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:41 AM

8. It is a disgrace and immoral.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:45 AM

9. I read the reports/comments on the ABA's Rare Bird Email list.

We're not the only ones who feel that way.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 08:33 AM

5. Another tragedy unfolds. Wait for the wildlife scientists and biologists to weigh in soon. Damn.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 09:35 AM

7. Bird die off

Happened few years ago in Missouri. Hundreds of them. It was thought to be a connected to nearby military base. Seems like a rail car leaked.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Original post)

Fri Jun 25, 2021, 12:40 PM

10. seriously, check the pig farms.

birds can pass zoological diseases to pigs, then pigs to humans.

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