Recent Update from Hope For Wildlife (Seaforth, NS):
With the recent outbreak of Avian Influenza across the Maritimes we would like to pass on some information and preventative measures that should be taken to help stop the spread of the virus.
The Avian Influenza is highly pathogenic and targets the respiratory and digestive systems of many bird species. The influenza is passed through the feces, nasal and ocular secretions of infected birds as well as being passed through fomites such as clothing, shoes, door handles, light switches, etc. It can also be transferred through contaminated water, and spread around the environment on the extremities of insects, rodents and other mammals.
If you have ducks, gulls, or geese that frequent your property, or have domestic ducks and chickens, it is advised at this time to not feed the wild birds to prevent large congregations of birds where there is a huge risk of exposure. Although all birds that are being fed may look healthy, they may be asymptomatic but can still spread the virus to the others.
Birds such as ducks, gulls, and geese that gather in large flocks are highly susceptible and may become victims to the virus. In turn, birds of prey, crows and ravens are also at risk if they have eaten the carcass of an infected bird.
Hope for Wildlife has been mandated by the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables until further notice to direct all calls regarding ducks, gulls, geese and birds of prey to their hotline 1-800-565-2224. If you come across one of these birds displaying odd behaviours or have found one that is already deceased please contact them to come out and assess the bird.
While this is currently an issue amongst the Atlantic Coast from Newfoundland down to the Carolinas, we ask that everyone becomes informed about this virus and take any precautions necessary to stop this highly pathogenic and often deadly illness amongst many bird species from continuing to spread to all parts of the world.