Nearly 30 birds all infected with bird flu found dead in a Chandler community

Birds are dying at an alarming rate around a lake community near McQueen and Frye roads in Chandler because of the bird flu.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 5:09 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona’s Family has received reports of nearly thirty birds all found dead. It’s happening around one lake community in Chandler. It’s all because of the bird flu, which means keeping your pets away from the birds.

“Since the end of September, we have started getting reports of Canada geese dying,” said Ann Justice-Allen, a wildlife veterinarian for Arizona Game and Fish.

Birds dying at an alarming rate around a lake community near McQueen and Frye roads in Chandler. “Those have been positive for avian influenza in the northern U.S. and those have been found to be positive influenza,” Justice-Allen explained.

Avian influenza, or the bird flu, is appearing in Arizona. “It’s a viral infection; it’s similar to influenza that people get,” Justice-Allen explained. While most strains of bird flu only kill poultry like chickens and turkeys, this one is different. “This strain is very potent and it has been killing wild birds as well,” Justice-Allen said.

Though it is rare, the virus can be passed to other animals like dogs and cats. “Keep your pets from scavenging on any dead birds,” advises Jan Miller, an animal coordinator at Liberty Wildlife. But it’s not just dogs — humans too. “Avoid touching them just because there is a slight chance humans can get avian flu from an infected bird,” Miller said.

As for the birds, there are a few tell-tale illness signs to look out for. Mainly, bizarre behavior like swimming in circles, repeatedly pecking their feathers and heads twitching and shaking.

Although the problem is distressing, it should get better soon. “What I expect to happen is that as the migration ends and things stabilize, we will see a decrease in the number of birds that are dying, and that will happen in the next 60 days,” said Justice-Allen.

If you find a suspicious bird, call Liberty Wildlife at (480) 998-5550.