Ill Birds are Growing in Number


It started with a few sick birds in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Washington but it is spreading according to  I love birds.  I love the birdsong in the morning, and I love spotting a brightly colored bird. But birds are getting sick, particularly songbirds like blue jays and robins.  The unknown ailment is also affecting common grackles and European starlings.


What to Look For


State wildlife agencies are working with federal agencies to find out what is making the birds sick.  The symptoms to look for are crusting, swelling, and discharges of the eyes, an odd head tilt, rapid eye movement, and an inability to fly according to  It appears that the symptoms will be pretty easy to spot.  Whatever is affecting the birds, it's creeping up North and has been seen in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Indiana.


What to Do if You See a Sick Bird


Fingers crossed the unknown disease doesn’t make it as far north as New Hampshire.  If you see a sick bird or a dead one that has crusty eyes, you can contact Fish and Game’s wildlife division at 271-2461 or email at  Veterinarians and scientists are working hard on a diagnosis.  In the meantime, just like humans, it’s a good idea to have the bird’s social distance.  They like to congregate around feeders and birdbaths but now is not the time to feed the birds.  It’s not like they can wear little masks around each other.  Let’s hope they find the source of what is affecting and killing the birds quickly.




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