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West Nile, Avian Flu Ruled Out In Bird Deaths

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Alex Paul
/
WFIU/WTIU News

State officials still are trying to determine what is causing the deaths of hundreds of songbirds across Indiana.

DNR sent 12 dead birds to the Indiana Disease Diagnostics Laboratory for testing.  No word has been given on how long it may take to get an answer. 

Symptoms include eye discharge, swelling and neurological problems.

“These symptoms are primarily being seen in Blue Jays, American Robins, Common Grackles, European Starlings,” said Allisyn Gillet, an ornithologist in the Department of Natural Resources.

Residents are being asked to disassemble all feeders and bird baths and bring them inside.

“We recommend that residents across the state stop feeding birds, until the mortality event has concluded, including hummingbird feeding, and broadcast feeding,” said Gillet, explaining that lessening opportunities for the birds to congregate may lessen the spread of disease.

Cases of sick or dead birds have been reported in 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

Songbird deaths also have been reported in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.