(WHDH) — Wildlife officials in Massachusetts are urging residents to stop using bird feeders and birdbaths following the mysterious deaths of birds in other parts of the country.
Wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs, in late May, according to MassWildlife.
More recently, additional reports have been received from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
The majority of affected birds reported have been fledgling common grackles, blue jays, European starlings, and American robins, but there have been no definitive cause of illness or death, MassWildlife said.
Even though the mysterious disease has not been reported in any of the New England states at this time, wildlife officials are encouraging the public to report any observations of sick or dead birds with an unknown cause of death as a precaution to help track this widespread mortality event.
Reports can be emailed to email@example.com and should include the location, number and species of birds, symptoms observed, and any photos.
MassWildlife also recommends that the public stop using bird feeders and birdbaths as this is where the wild animals congregate and can transmit diseases to one another.
Hummingbird feeders are fine to leave up, wildlife officials said.
Birds are said to be able to find plenty of natural foods this time of year without needing bird seed.
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