Saturday, April 8, 2017

Slow Saturday Flashback: One For the Birds

"Warning to pet owners prompted by bird deaths" by Dylan McGuinness Globe Correspondent  September 09, 2016

A day after Bakersfield Street residents in Dorchester awoke to sick and dead birds strewn through their yards and falling from their trees, the Animal Rescue League of Boston warned pet owners to keep their pets away from the area.

Thirty-two birds and one cat have died in the “unusual incident,” the organization said Friday on its website. Twelve birds were found dead, eight more died on the way to the shelter, and 12 others, along with a cat, were euthanized because they were in poor condition, the organization said.

Fifteen birds are in good shape and will be sent to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton, the organization said.

Lisa Timberlake, spokeswoman for the City of Boston Inspectional Services Department, said city inspectors were out before dawn Friday conducting a bird survey and examining the neighborhood.

The inspectors found another sick grackle on Bakersfield Street in addition to the 47 birds mysteriously stricken Thursday. They took note of two bird feeding sites in the area, Timberlake said.

She said tests haven’t come back from the bird samples, and the source of the animals’ illness remains under investigation.

A Boston Public Health Commission spokeswoman said authorities have no reason to believe human health is at risk.

The animal protection group said the birds were “falling to the ground, sick, thrashing, and unable to fly, or found unresponsive.”

One resident described the birds as “lethargic, trying to roll over, not able to stand up or fly.”

City inspectors will reach out to owners and renters in the area about unrelated infractions they noticed during their inspections, including piles of garbage, but Timberlake said she didn’t think those infractions were connected to the animal deaths.


Happened in Maine, too?