NOTABLE BIRD NEWS.....
CPW is monitoring for sick, dying birds seen in other regions of the United States but not currently here in Colorado
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - With reports of sick and dying birds in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is on the lookout for any signs of similar concerns in Colorado.
So far, no cases compatible with this “mystery disease” have been confirmed in the state of Colorado. The syndrome observed in other states is characterized by swollen eyes, blindness and signs of neurologic impairment. The birds most commonly affected have been young blue jays, grackles, European starlings and American robins. The cause of this disease remains unknown.
Please contact your nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office if you observe birds with swollen eyes, birds that appear sick or act abnormal, or if you observe three or more dead birds in one location within a two week period.
Contact: Jason Clay – Northeast Region Public Information Officer
303-2917234 / email@example.com @CPW_NE
In Colorado, house finches can be infected by bacteria (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) that cause swollen, crusty eyes, but this finch conjunctivitis disease has not been seen in other species. Finch conjunctivitis and other bird diseases are often spread at bird feeders.
Remember to clean bird feeders and bird baths regularly by removing all debris, cleaning with a 10 percent bleach solution, rinsing with water and allowing them to air dry completely before refilling. Please take down feeders if you notice sick or dying birds.
CPW does not recommend bird feeders be used at all from mid-March through Thanksgiving if you live in bear country.
Above photo: Sick birds with finch conjunctivitis have swollen, red, watery, and/or crusty eyes. Birds may recover from this disease, although severe cases can be fatal. Finches are most commonly affected. The Mycoplasma gallisepticum bacteria is spread by contact between birds and is usually spread in crowded groups.
Birds Aflutter Over Sighting of Roadrunner
Expert Likely Passing Through: Dave Price knew exactly what he was looking at when he saw a greater roadrunner in the area of Bangs Canyon a few weeks ago.
The roadrunner was hundreds of miles away from its normal range, but Price identified it by its blonde legs, shaggy crest, long tail and long bill. It had already caused a stir among the Grand Valley’s birding community.
“I heard there might be one around, so I went looking,” Price, a member of the Grand Valley Audubon Society said.
CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham said Thursday roadrunners are among the close to 400 species of birds that have been spotted in Mesa County at one time or another, but the roadrunner’s typical range, at least when it comes to Colorado, is limited to the southeast part of the state.
According to the Audubon Society, roadrunners prefer deserts and open country with scattered brush, particularly in Sonoran Desert and Texas brushlands.
Roadrunners prefer arid and semi-arid climates, Oldham said.
“You can laugh because we’re pretty darn arid right now,” he said.
One remarkable thing about a roadrunner appearing this far north is it’s unlikely it flew all the way here.
The speedy bird can run up to 15 miles an hour, according to the Audubon Society, and fly only when necessary.
“It’s not uncommon, we get a few birds each year that are outside their normal range,” Price said. “Birds move around.”
Price said reasons for birds moving around outside their normal range could include weather, migration and young birds seeking new territory. Storms, fires and droughts can also move birds around, he said.
“We’re not all that surprised when we have similar habitats for species,” Oldham said. “Wildlife disperses wide and far.”
Those who go searching for birds should take care not to get too close or otherwise disturb the birds.
This particular roadrunner is likely no longer in the area, Price said. Oldham believes the recently-sighted roadrunner was just passing through the area, and not putting down roots.
“We have no reason to believe they would start to establish here,” he said.
Meddlesome coyotes in Mesa County will just have to find something else to chase.
- by Sam Klomhaus, The Daily Sentinel, July 17, 2021