A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

State wildlife officials add Campbell County, two others to those asked to remove bird feeders

Staff report

State wildlife officials have added three more counties — including Campbell County — to remove bird feeders as they investigate reports of sick and dying birds.

Campbell, Bullitt and Madison counties have been added to Boone and Kenton and Jefferson counties asked by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to remove bird feeders.

About 250 reports of a mysterious disease has affected birds in Kentucky and others states. Birds most commonly affected include blue jays, common grackles, European starlings and American robins.

The F&WR departments has recommended taking down the feeders so the birds don’t congregate and spread the disease.

In late May, the department began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. Wildlife agencies in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia have reported similar problems.

State wildlife agencies are working with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause of mortality.

The public can access Kentucky’s reporting system online here or through the Bird Mortality Event webpage on the department’s website.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife recommends the public in the affected counties follow these guidelines:

• Cease feeding birds until further notice (when this issue has been resolved);


• Clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10 percent bleach solution immediately, then weekly thereafter;
• Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
• Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

If you must remove dead birds, it is recommended that you place them in a sealable plastic bag and dispose of the bag in a secured outdoor trash can.

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