Indiana DNR lifts moratorium on feeding birds

It’s OK for bird lovers across the state to set out their bird feeds again, according to Indiana’s department of natural resources (DNR).

The news was announced late Friday afternoon on a web page the DNR set up to inform Hoosier bird lovers about the status of a mysterious malady, which three months ago started leaving songbirds of several species dead or dying.

The green light to set out feeders came with a caveat. The DNR says: “Residents throughout Indiana may again put out their bird feeders if they are comfortable doing so and are not observing sick or dead birds in their yard.”

The cause of the dead and sick birds is still not known. According to the DNR webpage, “The cause of this disease is unknown and it is possible it may never be determined.”

The statement from the DNR continues, “The USGS National Wildlife Health Center and other researchers are continuing the investigation with existing samples and data, but unless the event repeats, it is unlikely they will be able to identify a cause in the short-term.” Continue reading “Indiana DNR lifts moratorium on feeding birds”

Some Indiana counties with urban hubs should still not feed birds, mystery of deaths not solved

New advice to bird lovers was given early Monday afternoon on the updated webpage about mysterious songbird deaths, created by Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

People in 16 Indiana counties should continue to refrain from feeding birds, in order to reduce the chance of promoting a pattern of dead and dying birds.

The pattern was first noticed in late June. It could be caused by a pathogen that is spread from bird to bird, but that’s still not known.

The DNR’s previous advice against feeding birds applied statewide.

The malady involves eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. Similar reports have come from Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, according to the US Geological survey.

Affected species include: American robin, blue jay, brown-headed cowbird, common grackle, European starling, various species of sparrows and finches, and northern cardinal. Continue reading “Some Indiana counties with urban hubs should still not feed birds, mystery of deaths not solved”

No conclusions yet on songbird deaths as Indiana adds to number of species and counties affected

In the two weeks since Indiana’s state ornithologist Allisyn Gillet held a conference on the topic, the Department of Natural Resources has not yet determined what is causing the deaths of several species of birds in this and other states.

Reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs, have come from Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, according to the US Geological survey.

An update was made on Tuesday to the Indiana DNR’s web page that has been set up to provide information about the songbird deaths.

The updates included additional species of birds that have been documented as sick or dying in Indiana. Added to American robin, blue jay, brown-headed cowbird, common grackle, northern cardinal, are European starling, sparrow, house finch, red-headed woodpecker, and wren.

Tuesday’s update increased the number of Indiana counties reporting songbird deaths from 53 to 69. That leaves just 23 counties in Indiana that have not reported some songbird deaths as a part of the pattern. Continue reading “No conclusions yet on songbird deaths as Indiana adds to number of species and counties affected”