Unusual bird deaths on southeast coast – 06/23/2005

  • October 23, 2013 at 3:16 am #730

    from bridget – ‘Hi All
    According to these statements, it could be anything!
    “””appears to have some neurological root”””
    “”hints at a neurological problem, which might be related to an
    algae bloom offshore””
    These folks are either plain out idiots or just ignorant or scared
    Posted on Sat, Jun. 18, 2005


    Unusual bird deaths perplex officials
    150 cases discovered this week alone
    By Joey Holleman
    Knight Ridder

    Birds that typically stay offshore are showing up by the dozens on
    S.C. beaches, either dead or dying.
    Wildlife officials aren’t sure what’s causing the deaths, though it
    appears to have some neurological root, said Al Segars, a
    veterinarian with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

    Because of the mystery, officials warn people who spot the birds on
    beaches or inland to leave them alone.

    Ignore the instinct to pick up a staggering bird and instead call
    the local beach patrol or animal control offices, Segars said.
    “Don’t take them home and try to nurse them back to health,” he said

    About 150 birds with the affliction have been found from northern
    Georgia to Cape Hatteras this week, Segars said. Most are greater
    shearwaters, though some are storm petrels or gannets. In general,
    the offshore birds are about the size of larger gulls.

    No typical shore birds, such as pelicans, gulls or terns seem to be
    affected, Segars said.

    Three ailing birds have been found at Hunting Island State Park,
    said assistant park interpreter Laurel Weeks.

    Two were dead. The other, which seemed disoriented, wandered off.
    Segars said that’s typical of the birds found still alive. They
    stagger when they can walk, often collapsing after awhile and dying.

    That hints at a neurological problem, which might be related to an
    algae bloom offshore, he said.
    Toxic algae enters the food chain, and birds can be sickened by
    eating tainted fish.

    But the deaths could be simply the typical mortality of the birds
    during migration. Onshore winds in recent days might be washing
    ashore sick and dying birds that normally would have died in the
    water offshore, Segars said.

    Several of the birds have been sent to the Southeast Cooperative
    Wildlife Disease Study lab in Georgia for testing.

    About 150 greater shearwaters were found dead along North Carolina’s
    Outer Banks in late June and early July 1995, according to the
    National Wildlife Health Center.

    Experts found those birds had died from malnourishment.

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