Hundreds of songbirds have died in Indiana from a mysterious illness, prompting wildlife officials in the state to ask residents to remove all bird feeders.
In neighboring Illinois, the Department of Natural Resources has yet to receive reports of similar infections, spokeswoman Rachel Torbert told WTTW News via email.
“Still, we’re reminding residents that it’s always a good idea to ensure bird feeders and baths are clean and maintained to help keep bird populations healthy,” Torbert added.
The Indy Star reported that cardinals, robins, grackles and blue jays are among the birds afflicted with the unknown disease. Symptoms include eye swelling, crusty discharge and neurological signs of illness.
Disease can spread in areas where birds congregate, which prompted the warning about bird feeders in Indiana.
In Illinois, Torbert said residents are being asked to clean bird feeders and bird baths frequently with a 10% bleach solution. Clean remaindered seed and waste underneath feeders and baths to minimize attraction from birds and other wildlife.
Report any sick or dying birds to local IDNR district wildlife biologists.