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Indiana DNR recommends removal of birdfeeders statewide

June 25, 2021 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources recommends all Hoosiers statewide remove their birdfeeders after the agency received reports of sick and dying songbirds from 15 counties.

The agency said Friday it is working with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center to determine what is killing the birds.

The affected songbirds showed neurological signs of illness as well as eye swelling and crusty discharges.

The 15 counties where they’ve been found dead are Clark, Delaware, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Monroe, Newton, St. Joseph, Union, Washington and Whitley, the DNR said.

All bird samples submitted have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus, it said.

The DNR said people should stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded and that they should clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution.

It also recommends people avoid handling birds but if they need to, to wear disposable gloves. Dead birds and gloves should be placed in sealable plastic bags and disposed of with household trash.