Indiana DNR probing songbird deaths, illnesses in 5 counties


INDIANAPOLIS — State wildlife officials are investigating reports of dead and dying songbirds in five Indiana counties that suffered from ailments seen in birds in several other states.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday it’s working with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in its investigation.

The bird deaths and illnesses have been reported in Monroe, Clark and Jefferson counties in southern Indiana and LaGrange and Lake counites in northern Indiana, the DNR said.

Several bird species, including blue jay, American robin and Northern cardinal have been affected and displayed neurological signs of illness as well as eye swelling and crusty discharge.

The DNR said that all of the bird samples submitted to date have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus, but final laboratory diagnostic results are pending.

Similar reports of dead or ailing songbirds problems have been reported in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

Hoosiers can report sick or dead wildlife to the DNR online to alert agency staffers.

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