(FOX 5 DC) - Officials in Northern Virginia and DC are continuing to issue warnings about sick and dying birds that have been seen across the area.
Beginning in May, residents in the DMV began seeing the birds dropping dead across the area.
According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, many of the sick and injured birds, specifically Grackles and Blue Jays, were young. Eye issues were reported in what otherwise looked like healthy young birds, causing blindness and the birds to land and stay on the ground.
The organization is testing some of the deceased birds through the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and is awaiting any results that may shed light on what is causing the sickness.
In the meantime, they are asking members of the public to dispose of these birds promptly when found on their property.
If you come upon a sick or dead bird, you are asked to call local animal control to report it. If you are going to dispose of the animal, officials suggest the following:
- Wear hand covering (such as gloves), face covering (mask), and avoid any direct contact with the birds
- Consider picking up the birds using the same method you would for pet waste. Invert a bag over your hand, pick up the bird, and then pull the bag over the bird, double bag and tying with a knot at the top before disposal.
- Place the sealed bag with gloved hands inside another bag and tie a knot at the top of this bag
- Dispose of in waste receptacle outside of the home
- Ensure to use diligent hand washing after you remove the gloves
"We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work with State Agencies to better understand why these birds are sick/injured or dying," Virginia Wildlife says.
The public will continue to be notified as more information comes.