Special Statement: Unknown Bird Illness

At Wild Birds Unlimited we want to be part of the solution. The health and well-being of birds is our number one priority! As with past bird diseases or infections, we believe that a caring, observant public, which our WBU customers most definitely are, actually helps provide valuable information in the effort to help save the song birds in these situations.

As of today,  NYSDEC and USGS has received zero reports from various counties of sick and dying song birds due to unknown causes in New York.

Our local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, SPCA West Seneca, has also received zero reports of sick and dying song birds with unknown illness.

Symptoms have been neurological signs, eye swelling, and crusty discharge around the eyes. The NYSDEC is working with the USGS to determine the birds’ cause of death. We are following the situation closely.

Several species are being affected, including Blue Jay, American Robin, Common Grackle, Northern Cardinal, European Starling, and a few others. Several samples have been sent to labs for evaluation and the bird samples submitted have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus. Final laboratory diagnostic results are pending.

To date, there are no confirmed reports in New York.

Please heed the following recommendations:

  • Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
  • Use the sick/dead wildlife reporting tool at NYSDEC Wildlife Health Department.
  • 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.
  • If you choose to continue to feed birds, follow responsible bird feeding practices www.wbu.com/responsible-bird-feeding.
  • If you choose to continue to feed birds and see a sick or dying bird, sanitize your feeders, remove them for a few weeks and report your findings to the NYSDEC Wildlife Health Department.