Good Tuesday yall. I’m afraid today I must strike a slightly more serious tone than usual. The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke has reported rising bird mortality rates in multiple states across the nation. Cases have been reported in Washington, DC, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The trick is, experts are not really sure what the cases are caused by. Whatever this new disease is, however, it is now spreading state-to-state, and killing grackles, starlings and jays as it goes. Though no diagnosis has yet been made, the affected birds have tested positive for avian conjunctivitis, avian pox and salmonellosis at the same time.
So what does this mean for us homesteaders? Essentially, if you have a bird feeder or bird bath out, you could inadvertently be helping the spread of this contagion, as birds cluster and spread it between each other. Temporarily taking down bird feeders and baths could go a long way toward stemming the spread. What’s more, in the height of the summer food abounds already, so you won’t be causing any of your feathered friends to go hungry. Don’t take my word for it though. See below for the press release put out by the experts over at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke:
Call to Action!
Take your bird feeders down!
Concerning bird mortality rates currently in multiple states in the United States.
Cases have been reported in Washington, DC, TN, KY, VA, WV, MD, DE, IN, OH, FL, PA and NJ.
This the new disease that is killing grackles starlings and jays is and spreading from state to state it is no longer in one area. As a rehabber we work with the wildlife department, think of them as our bosses.
I have seen many news stations and departments asking you to pull down your feeders and baths because of the disease is being found in the area.
Listen to the people who study this and do this for a living, if you continue to keep your bird feeders/baths up birds will congregate and diseases will spread. Essentially you will be killing these birds because you want to watch them instead of preventing the spread and possibly saving their lives.
We are professional wildlife conservationists, we only ask this when it’s necessary, and right now it is necessary to save these bird’s lives and give us time to figure out what is going on. No diagnosis has been made, they have tested for Avain conjunctivitis, avian pox and salmonellosis. Those are the most easiest to test for and that is not what’s going on, this is brand new and uncharted territory.
Do your part and take your feeders/baths down to save these birds.
~wildlife doesn’t belong to us. For the wild we are both their greatest enemy and their only hope.
Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”