Birds dying up north; DNR needs your help
Friday, February 03, 2006
By KEITH GAVE
TRUE NORTH EDITOR
A bacterial epidemic killing birds from the Upper
Peninsula as far south as Bay
County has state
Department of Natural Resources officials calling for a two-week moratorium
on backyard bird feeders.
''What we're dealing with is salmonellosis - the same kind
of food poisoning we see in humans and songbirds,'' said Tom Cooley, a
biologist in the DNR's Wildlife Disease Lab in East Lansing. ''It's the reason you don't
thaw your Thanksgiving turkey on your kitchen counter.''
The disease is particularly prevalent in the winter, when
food is scarce and flock birds rely on backyard feeders.
''It's transmitted by the fecal-oral route,'' Cooley said.
''What the birds do is feed and defecate in the same area. Their fecal
material contaminates the seeds and it's passed on to other birds.''
The disease causes lesions in the esophagus and the crop,
causing blockages and eventual death.
SNIPPED – see URL above.
To learn more about the disease and how you can help,
visit the Web at www.michigan.gov/dnr
and type in the word ''salmonellosis'' in the Web site's search engine on
the upper right corner of the home page.
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