Recently, it has been observed that songbirds in Ohio are being affected by a mystery disease or illness.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Wildlife Division, the primary species affected at this time are blue jays, common grackles, European starlings, American robins, and house sparrows.
Ohio counties experiencing the bulk of the outbreak so far include Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Warren Counties. No cases reported in Jackson County yet, however, it is recommended that precautions are taken.
No definitive cause(s) of illness or death have been determined by ODNR at this time.
ODNR is advising that citizens should stop feeding birds until further notice and that citizens should take down and clean bird feeders and birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution, particularly if they are seeing sick/dead birds in their area (as recommended by USGS). Doing these things can help slow the spread of the disease.
If you observe sick birds with the symptoms below and/or neurological issues (such as loss of balance, coordination) then call 1-800-WILDLIFE.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife appreciates reports of dead birds that exhibit symptoms such as crusty, bulging or sunken eyes. Submit a report online in the Wildlife Species Sighting reporting system to help biologists track the spread of the disease. When reporting, select Bird — Diseased or Dead.
Citizens can also include photographs or videos with your report, as well as latitude and longitude coordinates to help wildlife biologists quickly verify the sighting.
To dispose of dead birds, place in a plastic bag, seal and discard with household trash, or alternatively, bury them deeply in the ground.