The Ohio Division of Wildlife is lifting its previous recommendation to stop feeding birds. However, caution and vigilance are always necessary to help prevent further spread of diseases at bird feeders.
Bird Disease Mystery
By Nancy Howell, WCAS Board Member
Earlier in the summer an unknown malady was affecting birds, particularly fledgling birds. While it did not appear to be a big concern in Northeast Ohio, many birds along the east central coast (Virginia, Washington DC, etc.) as well as birds in west central Ohio, into Indiana and Illinois were observed with swollen, crusty eyes, and neurological problems.
Several organizations, such as National Audubon and the Ohio Division of Wildlife highly recommended to stop feeding birds and removing bird feeders and bird baths to keep birds from congregating and potentially spreading the disease.
To date, no cause for the illness has been determined, but research is ongoing. Organizations are now giving the “all clear” to resume bird feeding and refill bird baths, however, some recommendations still stand.
Dead birds should be reported to The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Species Sighting page. Bookmark the ODNR / Division of Wildlife / Bird Disease Reporting website area which offers information on the disease, research updates, resource links, additional points of contact, and a list of Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators in Ohio [pdf].
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