Crow and Loon Deaths Linked to West Nile Virus

While common for crows this time of year, wildlife experts are keeping watch of loons.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Minnesota DNR and wildlife experts are on the lookout for birds sick with West Nile Virus.

This comes after two recorded deaths of loons in Northeast Minnesota earlier this month, and a handful of crow deaths this past year, all linked to West Nile.

Crows and loons are more susceptible to West Nile Virus, as they are unable to make antibodies to combat the disease.

According to the Executive Director of Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation, infected birds are easy to spot.

“Usually the bird is pretty sluggish–it’s not gonna walk, it’s gonna become emaciated,” Jessica LaBumbard said. “And so it just won’t have much energy. It also likely will not be able to fly. So they’re pretty sluggish.”

If you notice a bird with those symptoms, you can call Wildwoods at (218) 491-3604.

You can also bring it to the center on Arrowhead Road. Wrap it in a towel and use gloves, LaBumbard said, to avoid touching it.

Though there is no risk of you catching West Nile from a bird, as it is only transferrable to humans through mosquitoes.

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