Hunting News

Songbird deaths widespread; feeder removal advised

Songbird deaths widespread; feeder removal advised

By Indiana Department of Natural Resources

The DNR has received reports of sick and dying songbirds from 50 of the state’s 92 counties. As the investigation continues, the DNR recommends all residents remove their birdfeeders.

In late May, the Department received reports of sick and dying songbirds from Monroe County with neurological signs, eye swelling, and crusty discharge around the eyes. Bird species principally affected are blue jay, American robin, common grackle, starling, northern cardinal, brown-headed cowbird.

The number of reports has increased, and includes reports from these counties: Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clinton, Decatur, Delaware, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Gibson, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Ohio, Orange, Parke, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam, Shelby, Starke, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, Union, Vanderburgh, Washington and Whitley.

DNR is working with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (IN ADDL) and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center to determine the birds’ cause of death.

Final laboratory diagnostic results are pending – the cause or transmission is currently unknown and still under investigation. All birds have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus.

As the investigation continues, the DNR recommends all residents remove their birdfeeders, including those for hummingbirds.

The following steps are recommended statewide:

Use the DNR sick/dead wildlife reporting tool.
• Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded.
• Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
• Avoid handling birds. If you need to handle birds, wear disposable gloves.
• When removing dead birds, wear disposable gloves and place birds and gloves in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash.
• Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a precaution.

Additional information will be available when final diagnostic results are received.

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd