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Name: Kathy Hinsman
Gender: Female
Hometown: Pittsburgh PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Pittsburgh
Member since: Sat Feb 18, 2017, 01:16 PM
Number of posts: 21,126

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Game commission recommends removing bird feeders as disease spreads

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette June 1, 2021

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/science/2021/07/01/Pennsylvania-Game-Commission-alert-mysterious-disease-songbird-population/stories/202107010179

The Pennsylvania Game Commission released an alert Thursday morning recommending that people remove their bird feeders and baths until it can figure out the root cause of a disease discovered recently that is plaguing the songbird population in many states, including southeastern Pennsylvania.

Some of the most affected are blue jays, starlings, and common grackles, but also robins and cardinals the game commission said.

Characterized by conjunctivitis, as well as neurological signs such as erratic flight, the unidentified disease first became prevalent in Ohio and Washington D.C. Though it has not yet reached Western Pennsylvania, the public should take all the same precautions to prevent spread, experts said.

Along with removing feeders and baths, the game commission and the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania recommend continued cleaning of the feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution, as well as keeping people and pets away from sick and dead birds.

“Last week we started getting calls coming to our office asking if people should do the same [as Ohio], and because it wasn’t seen in Western Pennsylvania at the time, we were still trying to learn about it. We’re still kind of in that place because there is no cause that’s been identified, but we understand now the importance of bringing in those feeders,” director of communications at the Audubon Society, Rachel Handel, said Thursday.

Without the presence of feeders and baths, the birds are unable to congregate, which is the main cause of spread. It does not appear to spread to humans, but there is no concrete evidence yet, according to Ms. Handel. There are speculations, though, of where the disease comes from.

- more at link -

Here's an oldie but goody from Cliff Clavin and Norm Peterson

'Memba them?

Cliff: "Well, ya see, Normy, it's like this .. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it's the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But, naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers!”

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