- Hello Jeff - Here again, another mass die-off which included
red winged blackbirds and starlings in addition to grackles.
- This time, we get the soft sell that bird deaths are
not uncommon in the US. That may well be true but the deaths are usually
do to toxins, parasites or bacteria like E Coli. This is very unsettling
and a cause for concern.
- Date: 5 Jan 2010 Source: MSNBC
- It Isn't Easy Being A Bird
- In the 1st place, New Year's Eve [31 Dec 2010] fireworks
were blamed in central Arkansas for making thousands of blackbirds
confused, crashing into homes, cars and each other. Then 300 miles
to the south in Louisiana, power lines likely killed about 450 birds,
littering a highway near Baton Rouge.
- On Wednesday [5 Jan 2010], Kentucky wildlife officials
said several hundred grackles, red wing blackbirds, robins and starlings
were found dead last week in the western part of the state.
- It's almost certainly a coincidence the events happened
within days of each other, Louisiana's state wildlife veterinarian
Jim LaCour said Tuesday. "I haven't found anything to link the
2 at this point."
- Mass bird deaths aren't uncommon. The U.S. Geological
Service's website listed about 90 mass deaths of birds and other
wildlife from June 2010 through 12 Dec 2010. There were 5 mass deaths
of at least 1000 birds, with the largest near Houston, Minnesota,
where parasite infestations killed about 4000 water birds between
6 Sep 2010 and 26 Nov 2010.
- Officials acknowledged, though, they may never know exactly
what caused the large number of deaths.
- Wildlife officials in both Arkansas and Louisiana sent
carcasses to researchers at the National Wildlife Health Center in
Madison, Wisconsin, and the University of Georgia. Results are not
expected for 2 weeks or longer.
- E. coli? -------- In 1999, several thousand grackles
fell from the sky and staggered about before dying in north Louisiana.
It took 5 months to get the diagnosis: an E. coli infection of the
air sacs in their skulls.
- "I hope things go faster than that," said Paul
Slota, branch chief for the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison,
Wisconsin. He said necropsies of the Arkansas birds began Tuesday
- "If it isn't strictly trauma, it may take more time
to get results back," he said. "When nothing shows up,
you run the tests longer and let it incubate longer."
- Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources spokesman
Mark Marraccini says someone called police about the discovery in
Kentucky, and they alerted state officials.
- Marraccini says tests performed on the birds ruled out
diseases or poisons. He said the deaths could have been caused by
weather or another natural event.
- Communicated by: ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall
- The interactive HealthMap/ProMED map for Kentucky is
available at: http://healthmap.org/r/008w - CopyEd.EJP
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural
Economics Univ of West Indies Please visit my "Emerging Diseases"
message board at: http://www.emergingdisease.org/phpbb/index.php Also
my new website: http://drpdoyle.tripod.com/ Zhan le Devlesa tai
sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health
- "They that can give up essential liberty to
obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -