By Oregon Family Farm Association
A highly contagious avian flu has killed thousands upon thousands of migrating snow geese, bald eagles, hawks, owls, and other wild birds as well as domesticated chickens and ducks throughout Oregon in one of the deadliest outbreaks in years.
The pathogenic bird flu has affected domesticated chickens and ducks but especially wild birds, according to state wildlife and agriculture officials quoted in the Oregonian/OregonLive. Every county in Oregon has noted outbreaks of the flu, which causes sick birds to act uncoordinated and lethargic, swimming in circles and flying into houses as if drunk. Most die within 72 hours of showing symptoms, although mallard ducks have formed immunity to the disease yet spread it through their feces. Waterfowl from Europe and Eurasia generally spread it to the United States, and in Oregon, about 17 percent of waterfowl have tested positive for the disease.