RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and other state agencies are advising residents to take down bird feeders and birdbaths as officials work to solve the mystery of sick and dying birds.
The mystery infection has been seen in states like Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Indiana and West Virginia. The symptoms include a white crust in birds’ eyes that leads to blindness, and damage to their nervous system, rendering them unable to fly.
On June 9, the U.S. Geological Survey issued a statement saying that the USGS, along with a number of park and wildlife groups, are investigating after officials in Washington D.C., Maryland and West Virginia started receiving reports of “sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge” in late May.
Experts are now asking for the public’s help in preventing the spread by taking down their bird feeders. They also recommend cleaning feeders and birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution. People are also reminded to keep their pets away from birds as a precaution.
If you encounter a sick bird, avoid direct contact and call the department of wildlife resources for help.