(Indianapolis, IN) - The Indiana Department of Resources is monitoring a spate of songbird deaths across the state.
Fifteen counties, including nearby Lake and St. Joseph Counties, have been pinpointed for reports of sick and dying songbirds. In response, the DNR is temporarily removing all bird feeders at state park nature centers, inns and park offices. They are recommending all Hoosiers do the same until the situation is fully understood.
The cause of the deaths is currently unknown. According to the DNR, the affected birds showed neurological signs of illness as well as eye swelling and crusty discharge. Samples submitted to the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus.
The DNR recommends the following steps statewide:
• Use the DNR sick/dead wildlife reporting tool at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife to alert DNR staff.
• Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded.
• Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
• 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.
Additional information will be shared when final diagnostic results are received. Report sick birds and learn more at on.IN.gov/songbirddeaths.