A number of sick and / or dying songbirds were reported in McCarthy including pine grosbeaks and red polls. A sickly golden eagle was reported ten days earlier. "It flew up to a tree top but appeared weak and a bit awkward."
Kimberlee Beckmen writes:
Just hearing about a die off of pine grosbeaks and red polls around McCarthy. Signs diarrhea and dehydration. Any other small bird disease events reported recently? To report dead or dying birds: 1-866-527-3358 or email AK_MBM@FWS.GOV
Consultation by Mark Vail:
When Joe Machina posted about the birds at his feeder station were dying several folk including Tenley Nelson referred a good article about sickness in birds in response. It seems mostly localized to his place as neither Tamara or myself have seen any problems. Although One grosbeak was reported in the University subdivision with similar symptoms before death. I advised him to take down and clean his feeders and stop feeding to disperse his local population. I would guess that it is a salmonella outbreak at his location. I had two redpolls die last spring about this same time. With the warming weather the local birds are starting to disperse. Once others were notified thru his post folks are watching more closely and ready to pull their feeders too.
Doran saw a sickly Golden Eagle on a snow berm at 55 mile, 10 day ago, it flew up to a tree top but appeared weak and a bit awkward. Another Golden died on the Chokosna bluffs back on January, as noted by Stephens Harper and Jim Kreblin.
With the snow depth (4 feet at present) this year and lack of small game sign, it appears to likely be starvation.
LEO Network Editors:
LEO Network members - we are asking you help in reporting any observations of sick birds, especially song birds. We have received anecdotyl reports of a song bird die-off event in McCarthy, observed at more then one location and associated with bird feeders. There is no information on the cause. If you observe sick birds, do not pick them up. They may carry an illness that could be passed on to people or pets. Keep pets and children away and report this event to the following number.
Special thanks to: Mark Vail, Joe Machina, Danny Rosenkrans, Margot Higgins and Wilson Justin for the networking and sharing the local knowledge.