[Tweeters] Avian Influenza Update

Bud Anderson falconresearch at gmail.com
Thu Jan 29 15:34:48 PST 2015


Hi Tweeters,

As many of you know, there was an outbreak of avian influenza in the Fraser
River Valley in British Columbia last December. Reports vary but it is
estimated that 220-240,000 chickens and turkeys were euthanized as a result.

Later in the month, a falconer in Whatcom County caught a Pintail duck with
a Gyrfalcon. This duck was later fed to four of his birds (2 Gyrs and 2
Gyr/peregrine hybrids). To everyone's amazement, all four died within 48
hours.

The virus appeared later in small poultry yards in southern Oregon, Clallam
County and near Yakima.

Another falconer lost three more captive peregrines after feeding them an
infected duck in Boise, Idaho a short time ago.

Infected waterfowl have now been found in Boise, near Salt Lake City, and
near Eugene, OR. Another poultry yard was infected in the central valley of
California last week.

I have learned from a WDFW biologist that three wild raptors in WA have now
succumbed to the bird flu that they know of so far, so it is out in the
wild populations. The birds included a Cooper's Hawk near Sumas, a Red-tail
near Edison and another Red-tail in Benton County near Yakima. A fourth
bird is suspected and currently being examined in more detail

Three excellent sources of recent information on this topic are

www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth.

www.wdfw.wa.gov

www.environmentalhealthnews.org

As a raptor biologist, I am obviously concerned about the impact of this
virus on our native raptors and other bird populations.

Your help is needed.

At this stage, the best way we can all help to determine the extent of the
bird flu is to look for and report any dead birds in western WA and beyond.
If you find one, please report it immediately to the WDFW by calling 1
(800) 606-8768.

For local Skagit and Whatcom County birds, please call their Swan Hotline
at (360) 466-4345 ext. 266.

There are only so many people working for the Department and I am pretty
sure they would appreciate all the help they can get on this one. Who
better than birders?

Any bird should be freshly dead and not in an advanced stage of
decomposition.

I cannot advise anyone out there to pick the bird up themselves. Please
contact professional wildlife biologists for that.

However, if I personally find one, I plan to use rubber gloves and pick it
up in a doubled plastic bag, transport it to WDFW immediately. Freezing is
acceptable but not the best.

Please keep on the lookout. It is important.

Bud Anderson
Falcon Research Group
Box 248
Bow, WA 98232
(360) 757-1911
falconresearch at gmail.com
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