What should you do if you find dead birds on your property from the songbird illness?

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INDIANAPOLIS — Have you spotted dead birds around your home recently? You’re not alone. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to investigate an illness that has killed birds in 53 Indiana counties so far. The question now becomes what to do when you find one?

“There was this poor little bird that looked like it was sleeping, but it wasn’t,” says Odessa Wallace who found the dead bird at her home, “I knew I needed to file a report with the DNR.”

Wallace owns an online food co-op called Indy’s Food Coop. Her passion project brings farmers market food to your door; however, her hobby is bird watching. When she made the report, she had expectations of what would happen.

“I thought someone from DNR would come out and get the bird, test the bird, see what’s going on,” explains Wallace, “I didn’t get a follow up message. I didn’t get an email.”

The DNR is encouraging anyone who finds a bird to report it on the DNR website here. In a statement, the DNR says they are not collecting bird samples right now, so no one will be coming by to collect the animal. If the DNR needs help validating a death report, then an ornithologist may call you for more information. The symptoms to look for are eye swelling and neurological problems. The DNR suggests people dispose of the birds in their trash using gloves and a sealable plastic bag.

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