Migration season has birds from all over flocking to Northern California, but some people have found dead geese near Peace Pond in Sacramento’s Land Park.
“Six dead and one sick in a week,” said Judy McClaver, who helped the dead geese. “That’s very unusual.”
McClaver suspects that the birds are infected with avian influenza, or the bird flu.
“There’s also another goose here that appears to be sick, still walking, but appears to be sick,” McClaver said.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife told CBS13 the last positive detection of bird flu in the state was in June, but wildlife officials are testing the birds brought in by McClaver. The results are expected next week.
Tests or not, Sandra Foreman with the Wildlife Care Association told CBS13 she’s pretty positive we may have a bird flu outbreak on our hands because of symptoms like cloudy eyes or shivering. heads in addition to the time of year.
“We’re going from 600,000 waterfowl to over 6 million waterfowl in the next few months,” said Dr. Maurice Pitesky, an associate professor at the UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine.
The research of Dr. Pitesky focuses on the application of epidemiology and disease surveillance to poultry health.
Since 2014, more than 100 million commercial chickens have died from the disease. Last year, the Sacramento Zoo protected its birds due to nearby outbreaks.
So why are more birds infected? Dr. Pitesky said it’s because we don’t have as many natural wetlands as we used to, and that results in birds landing in the same places, which quickly spreads the disease.
“Reflooding our historic wetlands that have been used for farming for the past few decades will help,” said Dr. Pitesky.
Until the tests came back, Dr. Pitesky said observantly.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we have cases soon,” said Dr. Pitesky.
Bird flu doesn’t have much of a history of infecting humans, but recently, it has been found in marine mammals.
McClaver said he will continue to try and help the geese that appear to be sick near the Land Park.
“We don’t hurt things by feeding them food that harms them,” McClaver said.
Sacramento Front Street said animal control has not noticed an abnormally high number of dead goose calls in the Land Park area.
However, due to limited staffing, dead animal pickups that do not pose a traffic hazard are not high-priority calls.
Sacramento Animal Control is not currently testing any birds for avian flu, but Fish and Wildlife said it will continue to do so.
If you notice a large number of dead geese, contact Fish and Wildlife or the USDA’s Wildlife Services.