West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in at least 48 species of mosquitoes, over 320 species of birds, at least 2 species of reptiles, and more than 25 mammalian species, includin
Could the local mosquito control efforts, particularly the spraying of pesticides for adult mosquitoes, be killing the birds?
Based on safety reports available from the EPA, many of the pesticides being used by local agencies for mosquito control are considered to have very low toxicity to birds.
This is a common problem. The bird sees the reflection and thinks it is another bird encroaching on his territory. One solution is to put a silhouette of a hawk in the window. That scares them off.
Under normal conditions, humans are unlikely to be infected with West Nile Virus by handling a sick or dead animal. However, there are a number of other infections that could potentially result from handling an animal.
Signs of infection in wildlife, like in humans, can range from no symptoms to severe symptoms of neurologic illness.
I am a wildlife biologist/birdbander/rehabilitator and handle live birds on a regular basis. Should I be concerned about exposure to West Nile Virus?
Bird-to-human transmission of West Nile Virus is extremely rare and is only possible through contact with blood or other tissues of infected animals.
I am interested in learning how to estimate animal populations. What methods are used, and how do scientists go about doing this?
Figuring out ways to estimate animal population sizes and their trends involves a lot of research time at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
I have a bird feeder [or birdbath] in my yard. Am I putting myself and healthy birds at risk of infection?
West Nile Virus is most often spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. However, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygienic procedures. Birdbaths and feeders should be washed or disinfected regularly.
I'm not seeing the numbers of birds that I have seen in previous years. Is this because of West Nile Virus? Are some bird species going to disappear completely?
There is a nation-wide decline in many bird species. This has been documented in annual Christmas Bird Counts, Breeding Bird Surveys, and reports from bird enthusiasts.
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