Photo: Male Canvasback, Barbara Saffir
Avian Influenza (AI) is an infectious viral disease of birds. Since the state’s Avian Influenza outbreak in 2002, Virginia’s poultry industry has been vigilant in prevention techniques and anticipated response. The Virginia Poultry Disease Task Force meets quarterly to review the plan for response in the event of a future outbreak. Of course AI affects wild birds as well.
Older birds are more at risk and susceptible. This virus can survive in soil, water and manure for 35+ days and survive 3+ months of cold weather.
Please see a variety of links from Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here: https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-avian-influenza.shtml
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources asks that reports be submitted to https://dwr.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/bird-mortality-reporting-form/ if the following circumstance is discovered: multiple (at least five) dead, wild, free-ranging waterfowl (ducks, geese, or swans), seabirds (terns, gulls, cormorants, etc.), shorebirds (dunlin, black-bellied plovers, sanderlings, ruddy turnstones, etc.), upland game birds (turkeys, grouse, or quail), or avian scavengers (crows, raptors, owls, etc.).