DNR says 50 counties now reporting sick or dying songbirds; Hoosiers urged to remove bird feeders


INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is now reporting dead songbirds in 50 counties.

In late May, DNR received reports of sick and dying songbirds in Monroe County. The birds showed symptoms such as neurological problems, eye swelling and crusty discharge around the eyes.

The agency said reports of sick and dying birds now include the following counties:

  • Allen
  • Bartholomew
  • Benton
  • Boone
  • Brown
  • Carroll
  • Cass
  • Clark
  • Clinton
  • Decatur
  • Delaware
  • Elkhart
  • Fayette
  • Floyd
  • Gibson
  • Greene
  • Hamilton
  • Hancock
  • Harrison
  • Hendricks
  • Henry
  • Howard
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson
  • Johnson
  • Kosciusko
  • LaGrange
  • Lake
  • LaPorte
  • Lawrence
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Monroe
  • Morgan
  • Newton
  • Ohio
  • Orange
  • Parke
  • Porter
  • Pulaski
  • Putnam
  • Shelby
  • Starke
  • St. Joseph
  • Tippecanoe
  • Union
  • Vanderburgh
  • Washington
  • Whitley

The issue primarily affects the following species: blue jays, American robins, common grackles, starlings, northern cardinals and brown-headed cowbirds.

So far, the birds have tested negative for avian flu and West Nile virus. DNR staff has collected samples and submitted them to the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

Laboratory results are pending. DNR doesn’t know what’s causing the issue or how it’s being transmitted from bird to bird.

As a result, the agency is asking Hoosiers to remove bird feeders, including those for hummingbirds, throughout the state. You can report a sick bird to the DNR here.

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