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Avian Mystery Disease Impacting Mid-Atlantic States, No Reports in NY, Yet

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Bird lovers across the east coast of the country are getting anxious. Some sort of undiagnosed disease is rendering birds blind, unable to fly, and in most cases it is killing them.

Confirmed cases in Ohio and Pennsylvania lead to a natural assumption that the disease has already reached the NY wild bird populations. There has been no confirmation in New York State of the disease which so far is manifesting itself in the eyes of songbirds. Birds that have fallen from the sky have a similar symptoms, swollen eyes that have discharge.

So far, in Pennsylvannia, the species below have been impacted so far, and any birds found dead should be reported via this website: https://www.vet.upenn.edu/research/centers-laboratories/research-initiatives/wildlife-futures-program/our-research/diseased-songbird-reporting-form#

  • Blue jay
  • European starling
  • Common grackle
  • American robin
  • Northern cardinal
  • House finch
  • House sparrow
  • Eastern bluebird
  • Red-bellied woodpecker
  • Carolina chickadee
  • Carolina wren

In New York State, no specific reporting has been requested but you can email or call the NYS DEC Fish and Wildlife Department : [email protected] or Call the Environmental Conservation Officers dispatch line at 1-877-457-5680

*If you find a bird that appears to be ill, DO NOT handle the bird without gloves!! Place in a ventilated box, set in a cool outdoor place, and contact wildlife officials immediately. DO NOT bring in the house and WASH YOUR HANDS! It is clearly unknown if this avian disease can be transmitted to humans.

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