Birds are important indicators of changes happening in the environment. Birds seem to be getting the “one, two punch” with everything from habitat loss, pesticide use, window and building collisions, predatory cats and now there are reports of an increase in dead or visibly diseased birds along the eastern seaboard and new reports are coming from Ohio and Indiana.
Keeping Birds Healthy
By Nancy Howell, WCAS Board Member
Recently some information from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, regarding dead or sick birds, was forwarded to Western Cuyahoga Audubon, and we thought it would be important to pass this information on to our members and those who view Western Cuyahoga Audubon’s website.
As we know, birds are important indicators of changes happening in the environment. Birds seem to be getting the “one, two punch” with everything from habitat loss, pesticide use, window and building collisions, predatory cats and now there are reports of an increase in dead or visibly diseased birds along the eastern seaboard and new reports are coming from Ohio and Indiana. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Division of Wildlife is working closely with Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators in Ohio and the National Wildlife Health Center to determine the cause of this disease and to document the geographic extent. At this time a causative factor has not been determined.
Here are a couple of things that can be done to assist the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Bird Biologist, Laura Kerns, with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, has suggested some things you can do to help keep birds healthy here in Ohio.
Both the states of Indiana and Illinois have recommended removing all feeders and bird baths and we hope all of Ohio does not have to resort to this. While we love “our” birds, feeding is truly not necessary during summer months. Birds will forage for insects, nectar, and seeds on their own … feeding brings birds close so we can watch and enjoy them. Please keep your eyes open for sick or dead birds and report your sightings.
Loving the birds also means taking care that we, as humans, should not add to problems for our avian neighbors.
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