More Dead Crows Found Monday 2/17- As of Friday DEC Still Unsuccessful On Cause
UPDATE: The DEC has of Friday declared they have not been able to determine the crow deaths, but are continuing to investigate. The studies they have done so far do not indicate any virus involvement.
Environmentalists in Orange County have filed FOIA (Freedom of Information) requests to the NYS DEC after requests to them and the Health Department for results of testing on what killed about 40 crows. The dead crows were found adjacent to Price Chopper and Middletown Manor Nursing Home at the intersection of Schutt and Dunning Rd. in Middletown. A second flockwas found last month.
Frank Carbone Jr., who submitted these and other photos from 2019 show more than dead 40 birds in full view not counting those that may be hidden in other areas. The deaths likely happened 2-3 days before the photos were taken. The environmentalists want to know whether the birds died of pesticide applications, rodenticide that may have been put out because they are a nuisance this time of year especially because the large numbers roosting leave droppings, a reovirus outbreak or some other toxic cause.
DEC results late this week show that the deaths were in fact NOT a result of a virus. They and the environmentalists are still studying necropsy results to determine the cause. Ornithologists suggest that increasing roosts in growing urban areas during winter months may because of the added heat provided by lights and retained by urban buildings. Some business owners in Middletown, Newburgh and SUNY College have placed “Bird Gards” which make noises to deter the birds.
Bird deaths in urban areas are not a new phenom. In 1979 about 10,000 dead birds were found on a farm that was over 3,000 acres which had recently spread the fertilizer 10:10:10. Weather conditions that affect its absorption can result in nitrite poisoning for avians.
While they have not reported necropsy results the DEC warns shoppers or homeowners not to touch any dead birds without protective gloves or a shovel in case they are infected with a communicable virus or if there is residual poison. (Photo courtesy of Frank Carbone Jr.)