Thursday, June 24, 2021

Mystery illness strikes down birds across US south and midwest



 A mysterious illness is killing birds across several states in the south and midwestern US, and wildlife scientists are rushing to try to find the cause, with many victims suffering from crusty eyes, swollen faces and the inability to fly. 

Wildlife managers in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia first began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs in late May, according to a statement from the US Geological Survey, which added: “No definitive cause of death is identified at this time.

”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. 

They say the species affected thus far have included blue jays, common grackles and European starlings, but other species may also be affected. More than 20 samples have been sent out for testing. In Ohio, the Ohio Wildlife Center posted on Facebook that it has been admitting songbirds with eye issues and is working with authorities to help determine what might be causing local birds to become sick.

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