Hoosiers asked to remove bird feeders due to bird deaths

Image by Frank Dilorenzo from Pixabay

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is asking Hoosiers statewide to remove their birdfeeders after receiving reports of sick and dying songbirds from 15 counties.

The 15 counties are Clark, Delaware, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Monroe, Newton, St. Joseph, Union, Washington, and Whitley.

The DNR is working with state and national agencies to determine the birds' cause of death.

The affected songbirds showed neurological signs of illness as well as eye swelling and crusty discharge.

All bird samples submitted have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus. Final laboratory diagnostic results are pending.

The following steps are recommended statewide:

  • Use the DNR sick/dead wildlife reporting tool at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife to alert DNR staff.
  • 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 shared when final diagnostic results are received.

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