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Wed Jul 21, 2021, 11:15 PM

What's Making Mid-Atlantic Area Songbirds Sick? Blue Jays, Robins, Starlings, More



- Ap. 24, 2021, a university graduate student holds a female blue jay in her open hand to release it in Silver Spring, Md., after removing it from a mist net used to capture birds for banding or other research projects. A mysterious ailment has sickened and killed thousands of songbirds in several mid-Atlantic states since late spring 2021.
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AP News, July 20, 2021.

WASHINGTON (AP) ó A mysterious ailment has sickened and killed thousands of songbirds in several mid-Atlantic states since late spring. While scientists are still racing to confirm the cause, it seems juvenile birds may be most susceptible. The U.S. Geological Survey, which oversees responses to some natural hazards and risks, has recommended that people temporarily take down bird feeders and clean out bird baths to reduce places that birds could closely congregate and potentially spread disease.

WHICH BIRDS ARE AFFECTED?

So far the majority of birds reported as ailing have been fledgling blue jays, American robins, European starlings and common grackles, but other songbirds are also affected. The main visible symptoms are swollen eyes or crusty discharge around the eyes, as well as off-balance movements that may indicate neurological damage.

WHERE ARE BIRDS GETTING SICK?

Wildlife managers and veterinarians first received reports in late April and May of sick birds in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Washington, D.C. More recent reports have come from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio and Indiana. The outbreak may have peaked in June and be declining in some early hotspots, but itís ongoing in other regions, according to Brian Evans, a bird ecologist at the Smithsonian National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

WHATíS CAUSING THE SICKNESS?

Scientists at the USGS, the Smithsonian and universities are still working to determine the causes. Through testing of sick and deceased birds, they have determined that this outbreak was not primarily caused by salmonella, chlamydia, avian influenza virus, West Nile virus or a few other viruses that commonly afflict birds. - More...

https://apnews.com/article/science-health-environment-and-nature-birds-1437135215e0054a1a724556be958fed

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Reply What's Making Mid-Atlantic Area Songbirds Sick? Blue Jays, Robins, Starlings, More (Original post)
appalachiablue Jul 21 OP
ffr Jul 22 #1
flying_wahini Jul 22 #2
NickB79 Jul 22 #3

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 01:45 AM

1. A wild bird you can hold in your hand is not being friendly. It's sick.

It may be premature to make a prediction what's making them sick, but I'll lay odds on it being something man made that did it. Birds are the descendents of dinosaurs. They've weathered every storm, including the KT event. The ramifications of losing birds too from the species being lost after all they've survived.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 02:01 AM

2. Experts are recommending taking down all bird feeders and do not replace yet.


Birds will be able to find natural sources. Commercial bird food may be contaminated.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Jul 22, 2021, 11:54 PM

3. If only it just killed starlings

Then it would be a dream come true, something to spread across the US.

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