Fish and Wildlife encouraging Kentuckians to report sick, dead birds

Birds with swollen eyes (like the one seen here), crusty discharge and as neurological signs...
Birds with swollen eyes (like the one seen here), crusty discharge and as neurological signs have been reported in Jefferson, Kenton and Boon Counties.(Ginger Rood | Source: Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources)
Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 3:10 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - The Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking people to report any sick or dead birds as part of an ongoing investigation into a bird mortality event.

In late May, the department began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and a crusty substance around the eyes, as well as neurological issues.

Wildlife agencies in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia have reported similar problems.

State agencies are working to understand the cause of these issues. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has sent more than 20 samples to the University of Georgia’s Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study.

As of now, no cause for the illness has been determined. Fish and Wildlife is encouraging Kentuckians to follow these guidelines:

  • Clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10 percent bleach solution immediately, then weekly thereafter;
  • Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
  • Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

If you must remove dead birds, it is recommended that you place them in a sealable plastic bag and dispose of the bag in a secured outdoor trash can.

The public can access Kentucky’s reporting system online at or through the Bird Mortality Event webpage on the department’s website at

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