Birds continue to die at an alarming rate around Northern Virginia and across Mid-Atlantic states, with no cause yet found for the "mortality event," the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources says.
In late May, wildlife managers in D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. Similar reports are now coming from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida and Indiana.
Birds congregating at feeders and baths can transmit disease to one another. Therefore, wildlife officials recommend that the public in the outbreak area:
- Cease feeding birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded;
- Clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution;
- Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
- Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.
If you encounter sick or dead birds in Virginia, please submit an event report at http://dwr.virginia.gov/.../bird-mortality-reporting-form/. If you must remove dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash.