Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More dead birds

Monday, 63 birds were found on a street in Austin, Texas, causing the street to be closed.

The dead birds were found overnight along Congress Avenue, a major downtown thoroughfare. Police closed the route through downtown and two side streets, and a staging area was set up near the Capitol, with dozens of fire trucks, police cars and ambulances.
The dead birds included grackles, sparrows, and pigeons. They will be tested for signs of poison or viral disease, but it's believed there is no threat to humans. Bird flu is not expected to be found.

Now, Australia is speaking out about the death of thousands of song birds. The residents of Esperance say they are missing their 'dawn chorus' of song birds.

The main casualties are wattle birds, yellow-throated miners, new holland honeyeaters and singing honeyeaters, although some dead crows, hawks and pigeons have also been found.
The first report of deaths of these birds found in yards came three weeks ago. There have been many autopsies performed on the birds, but the cause of this phenomenon has not been discovered. But, the Department of Agriculture and Food has almost ruled out infectious process.

Michelle Crisp said she usually saw dozens of birds in her yard daily. But, in one day, she and a neighbor counted 80 dead birds in their yards. They have not seen any more birds since. But, the chief executive of Birds Australia says that, once the cause is found and fixed, the birds will begin to return.

Add to that the dead body of a scaly-breasted Munia found in the streets of Hong Kong on December 31, 2006. The Munia was found to be the first case of H5N1 avian influenza strain ever reported in Hong Kong this year.

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