Sick or dead songbirds confirmed in 69 Indiana counties; 10 species affected

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INDIANAPOLIS — Sick or dying songbirds have now been confirmed in 69 Indiana counties.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said the issue affects ten species across the state so far: American robins, blue jays, brown-headed cowbirds, common grackles, European starlings, sparrows, house finches, northern cardinals, red-headed woodpeckers and wrens.

Symptoms include neurological problems, eye discharge, swelling of the head and poor limb control. The problem has been found in birds in other states, including Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

All birds have tested negative for avian influenza, West Nile virus, and other flaviviruses, Salmonella and Chlamydia (bacterial pathogens), Newcastle disease virus and other paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses and poxviruses, and Trichomonas parasites. Other tests are pending, the agency said.

The cause of the deaths is still unknown. DNR said the mode of transmission is uncertain.

As a result, DNR recommends that all Hoosiers remove their birdfeeders, including those for hummingbirds. The move is intended to prevent birds from gathering in common areas, possibly transmitting disease from bird to bird.

Here are the counties with confirmed cases:

  • Allen
  • Bartholomew
  • Benton
  • Boone
  • Brown
  • Carroll
  • Cass
  • Clark
  • Clay
  • Clinton
  • Crawford
  • Dearborn
  • Decatur
  • DeKalb
  • Delaware
  • Dubois
  • Elkhart
  • Fayette
  • Floyd
  • Fulton
  • Gibson
  • Grant
  • Greene
  • Hamilton
  • Hancock
  • Harrison
  • Hendricks
  • Henry
  • Howard
  • Huntington
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Jay
  • Jefferson
  • Johnson
  • Kosciusko
  • LaGrange
  • Lake
  • LaPorte
  • Lawrence
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Marshall
  • Monroe
  • Morgan
  • Newton
  • Noble
  • Ohio
  • Orange
  • Owen
  • Parke
  • Porter
  • Pulaski
  • Putnam
  • Randolph
  • Ripley
  • Rush
  • Shelby
  • St. Joseph
  • Starke
  • Sullivan
  • Tippecanoe
  • Union
  • Vanderburgh
  • Vigo
  • Warrick
  • Washington
  • White
  • Whitley

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