“We are asking Arlington Co (and DMV) residents to bring their bird feeders inside for the time being. Due to the unknown illness in local birds, we are looking to take as many precautions as possible to keep illnesses from spreading (and bird feeders can be a common source of illness),” reads the social media post from late last week.
Local authorities in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and West Virginia remains stumped as to why so many birds have turned up dead in recent weeks. Reports from across the region cropped up in late May about birds littering local roads and sidewalks.
Additionally, these reports do not seem to be decreasing and are remaining steady, writes Megan Kirchgessner, State Wildlife Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, in an email to ARLnow.
Symptoms usually include the swelling of eyes, a crusty discharge, and neurological signs, according to a Virginia DWR statement from Friday (June 11).
“We have continued to send out specimens for further testing but have not received any conclusive test results,” writes AWLA Animal Control Chief Jennifer Toussaint in an email to ARLnow. “We will immediately alert the public once we know what is going on and are making these additional suggestions just to lessen the possibility of this illness spreading from bird to bird at this time.”
Kirchgessner is also asking residents to remove their bird feeders and baths.
“Although we are not able to confirm at this time that an infectious disease is the cause of this mortality event, we have recommended removal of bird feeders and baths to be on the safe side,” Kirchgessner writes to ARLnow. “Feeders congregate birds and will facilitate transmission of disease from sick to healthy birds.”
DWR’s statement additionally advises residents, if removing a feeder or bath is not possible, to clean it with a 10% bleach solution.
There are still no definitive lab results as to the cause, but “at least three wildlife health labs are involved so hopefully we will have results soon,” Kirchgessner notes.
The labs that are investigating include the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, the University of Georgia Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, and the University of Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program.
“We are very saddened by this ongoing issue and are hopeful for more finding soon,” said Toussaint. “These birds are federally protected for a reason, they are a national treasure and vital to our ecosystem.”
Photo (1) courtesy of Erinn Shirley/Flickr
Meeting for lunch? Starting Monday, January 30 and running until Friday, February 3, Copperwood Tavern, The Pinemoor, and Brass Rabbit Pub will be offering buy one, get one free soups, salads, sandwiches, and…
Work is ramping up on a new Arlington County bus maintenance building and parking garage in Green Valley. Crews are set to wrap up laying the foundation for the Arlington Transit…
If you’re not one of the many proudly sporting a Gondola Now shirt around town, you’re missing out on a high quality piece of apparel that starts lots of interesting…
The Old Bike Shop in Lyon Park is closing next month after a decade in business. Owner Lawrence Behery told ARLnow that he’s shuttering the used bike repair and sales…
St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…