Songbirds becoming ill and dying of a unidentified illness have now been reported in more than half of Indiana counties.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said Hoosiers in 50 counties have now reported songbirds with neurological problems, eye swelling and crusty discharge
DNR said the species most reported to be affected by the mystery illness are the blue jay, American robin, common grackle, starling, northern cardinal and brown-headed cowbird.
At least five other states and Washington, D.C. have faced similar bird illnesses and deaths since late May.
DNR officials said samples submitted to the laboratory have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus, but officials are still awaiting final test results.
Agency officials this week recommended Hoosiers take down their birdfeeders and bird baths until the illness event subsides and report dead birds found on their property to DNR’s wildlife reporting tool.
People should avoid handling dead birds unless they are wearing disposable gloves. The bird should be placed in a sealable plastic bag and disposed of with household trash while being kept away from pets.