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TWRA Taking Caution With Spread Of Unknown Bird Disease

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TWRA Taking Caution With Spread Of Unknown Bird Disease

TWRA is recommending residents to take precaution as a unknown bird disease spreads in the eastern and midwestern parts of the country.

Biodiversity Coordinator Chris Simpson said the sickness causes eye swelling, eye discharge and possibly neurological symptoms.

“Stop feeding birds,” Simpson said. “Take down your bird feeders for right now, and wash them. Cover bird bathes. You can wash both of those with a 10 percent beach solution, which means one part bleach to nine parts water.”

Simpson said there have been no reports of confirmed cases in Tennessee at this time. However, Simpson said TWRA has received several calls of dead bird sightings across the state.

“Avoid handling those birds if you can,” Simpson said. “If you do got to handle them, use disposable gloves or if you are picking up for collection, put an inverted trash bag over your hand and pick up the bird. Also, keep your pets or kids away from sick or dead wild birds.”

Simpson said if someone comes across a recently deceased bird with the symptoms, contact your local TWRA office. Birds reported as exhibiting the sickness are young and include common grackles, European starlings, blue jays and American robins.

“No one really knows what is causing this illness and that is part of this project is to collect several birds across the landscapes into the lab and see if we can find what is causing this problem with the birds,” Simpson said.

Simpson said there is no evidence of the sickness spreading to other animals or humans. Simpson said birds have plenty of natural food such as insects, so residents should not worry about food supply.

The post TWRA Taking Caution With Spread Of Unknown Bird Disease appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.