Concern over strange disease killing birds in the U.S.

Bobolink bird. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / mtruchon)

Certain species of birds are dying in the northeastern United States due to a mysterious disease, and some are concerned it could spread into Canada.

Since May, there have been hundreds of reports in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan of birds, including blue jays, starlings, grackles, robins and cardinals being affected by a mysterious disease that gives the birds quote-“crusty eyes and swelling, and has a 100% mortality rate”.

This week, the Pennsylvania Game Commission recommended removing bird-feeders from their yards, while the Audobon Society, a non-profit conservation group dedicated to protecting birds and habitat, announced they have stopped selling birdseed, bird food and feeders at its stores.

People in affected areas are being cautioned about removing bird-feeders and birdbaths as they are seen as sites where the disease can spread, and also being told to not handle the dead birds and to keep pets away.

There are no documented cases of the illness killing birds in Canada.