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Avian Influenza Update, March 2, 2024

I’m glad to say that I’ve had no more reports of major die-offs like there were at the beginning of the month. However, there continue to be more reports of dead birds than usual.

Public Works had 8 geese (in total) last weekend and on Monday in Elevator Bay, and one additional goose Wednesday 28th. They also had calls from residents about a hawk Monday, which they are sending for testing, and a crow called in on Wednesday.

Sandy Pines received no birds over the past week with suspected AI.

In the Kingston region:

  • a deceased goose found on the shore of Long Point Bay in the fishing village on Amherst Island. The goose was found Saturday 24th, and judging by the condition of the carcass, it appeared to have likely been in the water for a while before washing up.
  • No carcasses seen in Collins Bay on the ice or around the shore
  • A dead goose was seen at Point Crescent in Reddendale)
  • The Bald Eagle that was nesting on the south side of Collins Bay Pen and feeding on ducks and geese  in Elevator Bay has died. Seems likely that it caught the Avian Flu.
  • SATURDAY FEB 24th: I walked the map I sent you of Cataraqui /Elevator Bay. There are two new dead geese on the path of the Invista warming pond path which is off limits and one in the water. As I was watching approximately number 120 geese took off with 60 mallards and 20 greater Scaup. Unfortunately a Canada goose attempted to take flight but was too weak and landed back on the water after about five minutes it started to turn in circles and died shortly after bringing the dead geese total to four at the Invista warming pond. Without proof in my opinion this area seems to be a hotspot for avian flu infections.
  • SUNDAY FEB 25th: I walked the Kingston waterfront from Gord Downie Pier to Richardson Beach today between 2-3 pm.  There were no geese, dead or alive. I did come across a couple of decayed gull carcasses. It has been just over two weeks since I last walked so perhaps I missed them last time, as the carcasses look quite old. That said  I have no idea how long it takes for something to rot or perhaps get picked clean. Live birds seen were just two mallards and a pair of rock doves, all healthy looking. There was a bitter cold wind coming off the lake.
  • A dead crow was found this week in Cartwright Point.
  • Hundreds of geese still on Wolfe Island. They all looked healthy.
  • a dead crow today (Feb 22nd) on Hughes Road, off Hwy # 15. Could have been a road kill as there was a large number of crows in the vicinity.

It seems that birds have started moving north because of the warmer weather. They will be taking the Avian Influenza infection with them, but hopefully there will be less infection from bird to bird as they disperse.

Please continue sending observations, news, and other thoughts or information, to  conservation@kingstonfieldnaturalists.org