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INDIANAPOLIS–Sick and dying birds are being reported in 69 of Indiana’s 92 counties. The Department of Natural Resources says a mysterious illness is affecting 10 species of birds.

The reports of the sick and dying birds started coming in during May. The illness was initially found primarily in blue jays, robins, cardinals, and starlings. However, the DNR added more bird species to the list, including brown-headed cowbird, common grackle, sparrow, house finch, red-headed woodpecker, and wren.

Other species of birds could be affected as well. The DNR is looking into that.

It’s still unclear why these birds are dying but the DNR has ruled out some possible causes including avian influenza, West Nile virus, and other flaviviruses, Salmonella, and Chlamydia (bacterial pathogens), Newcastle disease virus and other paramyxoviruses, herpesviruses, and poxviruses, and Trichomonas parasites.

The birds that are sick and dying have the following symptoms: eye discharge or eyes crusted over, neurological problems including tremors and disorientation, swollen heads, and an inability to fly.

If you come across one of the dead birds, the DNR says you should double-bag it and dispose of it with the household trash. You should not touch the bird with your bare hands. Instead, use disposable gloves or a bag to pick it up.

If you have pets, you should keep them away from areas where birds have gotten sick or died.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is encouraging poultry owners to protect their chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other domestic species from any potential exposure to wild birds.

To report a sick or dying bird, you can go here.