Bird Flu Kills Family Of Owls In Minneapolis Park
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) continues to spread in Minnesota. The outbreak this spring began in the southeastern United States. Then it was confirmed in Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. It appeared just a matter of time before it spread to Minnesota. Remember, HPAI was and is being spread by migrating birds and waterfowl. They are carriers and typically do not die from the disease or at lease it takes quite a while. So, they can spread HPAI for quite some time.
I have been watching the spread of HPAI and how many commercial poultry farms or backyard poultry flocks have been infected. I guess in my world of agriculture I never thought about HPAI and other species that may be affected including raptors like owls. I saw a news release form the Raptor Center that 3 horned owl nestmates were brought to the Raptor Center "suffering from extreme neurological signs." One suddenly died and all three tested positive for HPAI.
Two dead adult owls were found in the area that likely were the parents. They have been tested and "we highly suspect that their samples will test positive too." I did not know until I read the release from the Raptor Center that HPAI is as deadly for raptors as it is for turkeys and chickens. HPAI will kill 90 to 100 percent of raptors that are infected too.
"If you find a raptor in need you are asked to call the Raptor Center at 612-624-4745 or visit their website: raptor.umn.edu. If you would like to learn more about HPAI and the impact on Minnesota's Poultry Industry click on the link and listen to Abby Schuft Poultry Specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.