Dennis Puleston Osprey Cam
Message Board
2005 Season

2005 Season






  — Commentary

  — Highlight clips

  — Archived still pictures

  — 2004 Season

  — 2003 Season


  — 2004 Message Board



  — Guest Book World Map



Thread subject: Ospreys and Bird Flu
Name Date Message
Tiger 10/15/05 01:09 pm Does anyone now if ospreys are suscepible to bird flu?

If they are what are the impications??
Celeste 10/15/05 03:53 pm This week I was trying to learn more about this avian flu and I wanted to know if migratory wildbirds, such as osprey could also get this disease. . This afternoon I heard there were more cases of the flu supposedly transmitted by migratory birds, though they didn't mention what bird, I suspect they are water birds, (geese and ducks), used for eating purposes. So far I have only been able to find the following--
An excerpt.......
"While it is common for wild birds, particularly waterbirds, to carry strains of avian influenza virus, there is little evidence that the new virulent H5N1 virus strain is affecting wild bird populations, or that wild birds are able to spread this Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus. Thus far in 2004, there is a report that out of 6,000 wild birds tested in Hong Kong, one peregrine falcon was positive for the H5N1 strain. It is not known how the bird became infected and reports are not clear if the bird actually died from the disease"

The article also states historically migratory wild waterbirds rarely cause disease, which contradicts today's news report.

Marie 10/15/05 04:02 pm Tiger, Bird life international have indicated that most bird FLU is BORN of the choked and appalling conditions that domestic chickens live under. Transportation of infected chickens, and infected birds in the exotic bird trade will further increase and spread this around. ONCE again, I believe, it is Man's determination to cut corners , to MASS PRODUCE for PROFIT that causes much of the world's ills. Look at the mad cow EXAMPLES. Unfortunately, the Humans that are in close contact with the production and slaughter of chickens are most vulnerable and are the ones that become infected and transmit. Close encounters or wild birds to chickens on-the-run, ie those in Asia that are allowed to feed in the open areas( Lucky chickens) that wild birds forage along side certainly could cause some wild birds to become infected ( virus mutations)...mostly likely waterfowl, but generally not long distance migrants. However 13-19%( if I remember rightly) of the Bar- headed goose was whipped out this past winter I believe from bird flu and they are long distant migrants! They certainly originated from Asia flying over the Himalayas to winter in India....I guess anything is possible. Even if the ospreys aren't carriers the Hysteria and all the bad press about Avian Fu will certainly make many birds vulnerable to poisoning, and slaughter from anxious HUMANS, especially in their wintering grounds. Funny thing is, the birds will get blamed when really it is all to do with
'' Humans ''and their farming/production practices. Are confined chickens being fed with pellets of food that contain their own kind, as well as antibiotics, and growth hormone? Just as the Mad cow disease surfaced a few years ago, we all discovered what 'BEEF' were being fed. Appalling! chickens are are grain/grass eaters. Who ever thought that animals would do well eating their own kind? What on earth happened to the science in this issue? We certainly as a race need to wake up and take note or else it will be too late.
We now have the same issues here with Salmon fish farms. So sad.
You can read all about the Avian Flu in the URL below. What are we eating these days is a real issue for me!
cathy 10/16/05 02:36 am Thanks, Marie for the well-expressed views. It makes me sad to see the slaughter of poultry to reduce bird flu. I also think of the people for whom these birds represents a livelihood. As you say, the everyday practices to raise meat for societies huge appetite seems appalling. What has concerned me about bird flu is that shooting or otherwise killing migratory birds might become acceptable as a "preventative" measure. Many of these methods might be indiscriminate - ducks or ospreys or cranes or storks. I guess we will learn what happens and hope the birds return as they have in recent years.
Tom I 10/16/05 08:44 am For facts on bird flu, the CDC website has a FAQ regarding it at:

Bird flu's originate in the wild and become a problem when domestic birds pick it up, becasue they are kept in close proximity. This virus is mainly circulating in Asian villages where the domestic chickens/ducks are often free ranging for the most part. Problem is that they (people) let the birds in their homes and such making contact with humans likely. The main threat is if someone has flu and bird flu at the same time, if this occurs the two viruses can mix and has the potential to create new strain, much like in 1918.
cathleen 10/16/05 08:46 am Yes, thanks, Marie, for a very informative post. I am also appalled at the agribusiness methods to provide humans with the convenience of plenty at any time. I am NOT a vegetarian or a vegan. Yet I am aware that if I had to provide myself my own food, I would not eat any other meat than fish, which I know I can catch and clean for myself. In more desparate circumstances, I think I could kill a chicken or eat ants and grubs, but I shudder at it.

I just found out that our large population of non-migrating Canada geese here in Upstate New York is due to hunters importing Canada geese chicks to this area to imprint them. They brought the parents along I guess but clipped their wings so they could not fly back. The chicks never learned migration, and now there are huge populations that stay here, regardless of seeing migrating flocks every year. Now people complain about all the goose droppings and crossings everywhere.

If it is true the meek will inherit the earth, my bet is on any other than homo sapiens!!
FOB Webmaster 10/16/05 09:27 am The Eastern Shore of Maryland had a small problem with avian flu in poultry recently. You can read about it here:

My biggest concern is that there will be a scare, and wild birds will be unnecessarily targeted and exterminated in some ill-advised, panic-driven effort to head off an outbreak. I just hope the government is better prepared for avian flu then they were for Katrina.

Cecilia 10/16/05 09:51 am Good question Tiger. I sure hope that the source that Celeste quoted turns out to be right. And like Lisa I'm worried about some kind of broad slaughter...or as one of the reports termed it "depopulation". What a sanitized way to say killing.
Melanie 10/16/05 11:01 pm How interesting, Lisa. I was either watching or listening to a report that addressed the impact that avian flu could have if it hit the Eastern Shore. They said that to date, there had yet to be any incident of avain flu on the E. Shore. Perhaps they were refering to just the H5N1which is the one that is causing the great concern.

For those not familiar with the DelMarVa penninsula (Delaware, and the eastern shores of Maryland & Virginia), Perdue, Holly Farms and Tyson have huge chicken producing and processing operations there. It is a HUGE multi-million dollar agribusiness and should anything strike there, the effect on the Shore's economy could be devastating. Huge chicken "houses" are as common there on the Shore as grain silos are in Kansas.
FOB Webmaster 10/17/05 07:09 am Yes Melanie, they probably were referring to H5N1. I guess the smaller outbreaks aren't as noteworthy, but I do worry about the Eastern Shore with all the chickens here. I would hope that they are especially vigilent at the chicken houses now that avian flu is becoming such a headline grabber.

In my most paranoid nightmare of an outbreak, I could see places like Blackwater Refuge, Bombay Hook Refuge, Prime Hook Refuge, and Eastern Neck Refuge as being prime areas where the "government experts" would attempt to eliminate wild migrating birds that might be carriers. I know it's unlikely to happen, but the Delmarva Peninsula is rather unfortunate in that we have both large chicken populations and large migrating bird populations, on the same narrow strip of land.
karen 10/17/05 08:45 am Thanks to all for the great links. I have been on the net trying to understand this issue better. Like many of you I also fear the panic reaction and widespread slaughter of both migrating and farmed birds. I also think that the press is playing it up and also that the US govt has been using it a way to divert attention from other issues here in the US.
Cecilia 10/17/05 08:57 am Karen I think your last sentence is, saddly, way too true :-(
Melanie 10/17/05 09:36 am You got that right, Karen. Sad that we have to become that cynical.

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006