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West Nile virus is killing the crows

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 5:52 am in Crows, West Nile virus.

Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.

Authorities say 13 birds collected from Orange County have tested positive for West Nile virus. The infected birds were crows and were collected during the first nine days of May. The virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bites of mosquitoes, which become infected when they feed on infected birds.

Corvidae (ravens, crows and jays) are the birds that appear to be most sensitive to the West Nile virus. I get a LOT of mail from readers who dislike crows and want to know how they can get rid of them. As you can see, West Nile is taking care of it.

This is not a good thing. Who know what the ripple effects of this might be? When a major unnatural die-off like this takes place in the ecosystem, the impact could be enormous. We’ll just have to wait and see.

What if the virus starts killing off hummingbirds, or robins, or mockingbirds? Think about it. /Gary

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  1. Debra Turnbull Says:

    Hi and thank you for your time! I live on a large horse ranch pretty far out in the country and found this crow or raven as a baby. He or she had been knocked out of the nest and his leg was badly damaged so I rescued him. I’ve had and enjoyed him for about 3 years and since he is now very tame and cannont perch I will keep him for life. The last crow I rescued for 15 years so I know a little about their care. I was wondering if you could tell me if he is a crow or raven by looking at photos. He is about 22 inches long, has a lot of “hair” where his beak meets his face and has a wide variety of noises he makes. Cackle and croaks. He also speaks english. I love this bird and realize the responsibility in taking him in but was just wondering if you knew or knew of someone that would. Thank you.

    Debra Turnbull

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