DNR recommends removal of birdfeeders statewide


The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has received reports of sick and dying songbirds from 15 counties.

As the investigation continues, the DNR recommends Hoosiers remove their birdfeeders statewide.

The 15 counties are Jackson, Clark, Delaware, Hamilton, Jefferson, Johnson, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Monroe, Newton, St. Joseph, Union, Washington and Whitley.

DNR is working with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center to determine the birds’ cause of death.

The affected songbirds showed neurological signs of illness and eye swelling and crusty discharge.

Several samples have been sent to the state lab. All bird samples submitted have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus. Final laboratory diagnostic results are pending.

The following steps are recommended:

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.

More information will be shared when final diagnostic results are received.

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