Preventing Bird Disease
Many of you have called with questions about the bird disease in the Mid Atlantic states. Here is what we recommend:
There is an unknown disease that has been causing bird deaths in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States over the past two months.
The symptoms include eye swelling with crusty discharge, as well as neurological issues like appearing disoriented.
There are studies in progress to determine the cause of the disease, and many things have been ruled out. There is a theory that there is a connection between the disease and the arrival of this year’s Brood X cicadas. Another theory is that it is similar to the finch eye disease, which is a form of conjunctivitis.
When birds congregate in one place, it increases their chances of spreading disease, and a lot more people are feeding the birds these days.
That said, it’s important err on the side of caution for our beautiful feathered friends. We are asking that everyone be diligent in cleaning their feeders and birdbaths with a 1/10 percent bleach solution to kill lingering pathogens. (1 part bleach 9 parts water, use clorox bleach – bargain brands are not as effective)
Keep the feeders and baths clean on a regular basis and keep our feathered beauties safe.
While there is always an increase in reports of dead birds at this time of year due to natural high mortality rates of young birds, MassWildlife is encouraging the public to report any observations of sick or dead birds (with unknown cause of mortality) as a precaution to help track this widespread mortality event. However, the mystery disease is not known to be in any of the New England states at this time. It is not necessary to report dead birds where strong evidence links the mortality to collision with glass or vehicles or predation by cats. Please email reports to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your location, number and species of birds, symptoms observed, and any photos.