Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Avian Cholera In Idaho?

Wow.  I'm amazed.  I have heard of avian cholera in the past, but the discovery of 2,000 dead snow geese in Idaho surprised me.  The geese are migrating from Mexico back north to the shores of Alaska.  And these dead birds were all found in southeast Idaho, near the Mud Lake Wildlife Management area.  It seems they all died in flight and dropped, dead, to the earth.  Avian cholera can kill the bird within six to forty-eight hours after the original infection.  The birds fell over quite a few acres of land, and wildlife officials hope they removed all the carcasses before further contamination could occur.  However, several bald eagles were spotted in the area, and it is feared that they had already fed on the dead geese.  Avian cholera is not easily transmitted to humans - but it is easily transferred between birds, most especially through carrion eaters, such as crows, ravens, eagles, ospreys, and vultures.  Most of the geese carcasses were incinerated, while others are being used for testing, to pinpoint  exactly which disease killed this flock on the wing.  The most likely disease is avian cholera, which can be spread by feces and through water contact.  We need to keep an eye on the sky, and report any unusual mass deaths of birds to local health and wildlife authorities.
  Texas Red, the colt who won the Breeders Cup Juvenile race in November, and became the instant favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby, is no longer on the Triple Crown trail.  The colt has suffered from foot problems since the beginning of the new year, and has been unable to train consistently.  His owners are now looking forward to the summer races for three-year-olds.
   We had temperatures of 80 degrees (F) Sunday and Monday here in Boulder.  Yesterday we struggled to reach 45 degrees, with dreary, grey overcast skies and a light wind.  The weather folks say we'll hit 65 today, but have rain tonight and tomorrow morning.  All I can see is grey, bleak skies - no sign of the sun, which could be seen trying to burn through the cloud cover yesterday.  Yuck.  I do not like dreary days.

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