High Eastern Bluebird Mortality
(NY) Unusually high numbers of dead Eastern bluebirds, Sialia sialis, were reported to the Cornell Wildlife Health Laboratory (CWHL) this past summer. The reports came mostly from people who have monitored nest boxes for years and knew this was a cause for concern. Postmortem examination of several birds revealed the cause of death was severe damage to the inner wall of the intestine: an ulcerative, or necrotizing, enteritis. Looking at data collected though our New York Wildlife Health Surveillance Program, no cases of necrotizing enteritis or high bluebird mortality have been recorded in the last 7 years. For more information, visit the CWHL's Disease Watch.