Mystery ailment impacting birds inching westward


July 8, 2021

Since May, state agencies, wildlife rehabilitators and animal control operators in the Mid-Atlantic United States have received a sharp uptick in reports of sick or dead songbirds.

Grackles, starlings, robins and blue jays seem particularly vulnerable to this mystery ailment, which causes swollen and crusty eyes and neurologic signs, like disorientation, tremors and loss of balance. To date, a definitive cause has not been identified and the number of affected states has expanded west to Indiana.

At this point wildlife experts cannot rule out some linkage to the Brood X cicada emergence event,...

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