Poll launched in reports of sick or dying songbirds in Pennsylvania


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Public reports of sick or dying songbirds have recently been received from 27 counties in Pennsylvania, including York.

That’s according to a press release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission on Thursday.

The state of health behind the deaths is uncertain, but the reports have raised concerns within the outdoor community.

As a result, wildlife health experts from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Futures Program and Game Commission officials are investigating the reports.

The Game Commission said public reports point to both adult birds and young birds showing signs of the disease. The most common clinical symptoms include discharge and / or scabs around the eyes, eye damage, and / or neurological signs, such as falls or shaking of the head.

Affected birds are tested for several toxins, parasites, bacterial diseases, and viral infections. To date, the test results have not been conclusive.

The condition has appeared in 12 species: Twelve species have been reported: blue jay, European starling, common blackbird, American robin, northern cardinal, house finch, house sparrow, eastern bluebird, red-bellied woodpecker, Caroline’s tit and Caroline’s wren.

Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties had a total of 15 reports.

Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties had a total of 19 reports.

Numerous reports have also been received across the United States, including the mid-Atlantic region, extending to the southeast and east of the upper Midwest. Affected birds were first reported in and around Washington.

The public is encouraged to report any sightings of dead birds and / or birds that have been seen with swollen and crusty eyes, as well as neurological signs such as trips and head tremors. Report the incident online at: http://www.vet.upenn.edu/research/centers-laboratories/research-initiatives/wildlife-futures-program.

Precautionary measures: Experts also encourage the public to follow these five precautionary measures until more is known:

â–ºContinue to feed birds and provide water in birdbaths until this wildlife mortality event is over to avoid potential spread between birds and other wildlife.

â–ºWash feeders and birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution.

â–ºAvoid handling dead or injured wild birds. Wear disposable gloves if it is necessary to handle a bird.

â–ºKeep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

â–ºTo eliminate dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag and dispose of them with household garbage. This will prevent the transmission of diseases to other birds and wildlife.

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