Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources has received hundreds of reports over the last week of a mysterious illness affecting songbirds in Northern and Central Kentucky.
Wildlife agencies first identified the illness in late May and have since received reports of it spreading in at least six states and Washington D.C. So far experts are stumped as to the cause, and awaiting the results from lab testing.
“Basically, in our meeting, it was like, ‘What is everybody seeing?’ and we haven’t come up with one definitive answer and so we are exploring all possibilities,” said Dr. Christine Casey, wildlife veterinarian with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Last week Kentucky wildlife officials asked residents in Jefferson, Boone and Kenton counties to take down bird feeders until further notice to help curb the spread. They also opened an online reporting tool that has since received around 700 reports of sick and dying birds, mostly in Central and Northern Kentucky. Officials are now sorting through those reports.