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BONNYVILLE – A number of waterfowl have been found deceased or acting ill along Jessie Lake in recent days.
The appropriate officials with the Government of Alberta have been contacted concerning the waterfowl found. Specimens have been collected by Alberta Fish and Wildlife for testing. Results are expected back in the coming weeks. Symptoms that were observed were a strong indicator of Avian Influenza. The waterfowl affected are Eared Grebes, which are described as small waterbirds that are mostly black with chestnut flanks and golden plumes fanning out from behind bright red eyes or grayish black overall. If members of the public notice clusters or groups of dead waterfowl or raptors (hawks, owls, falcons), corvids (raven, magpie, crow) or gulls, please report these to toll-free at 310-0000.
As a general guideline, members of the public should avoid handling live or dead wild birds. If handling can't be avoided, wear disposable gloves, place a plastic bag over your hand before picking up the dead bird, or shuffle the dead bird into a box or container without touching it (for example, use a stick to move the bird). Wash your hands with soap and water and disinfect any surfaces that have come into contact with dead birds using alcohol, diluted bleach, or commercial disinfectants.
Avian influenza primarily effects waterfowl (ducks, geese, etc.), and can spread to domestic poultry (turkeys, ducks, chickens).
The most recent outbreak of the disease was first identified in Alberta in April 2022. While a recent update from the Province of Alberta declared the outbreak to have declined, as of June 20, 2022, the Avian Influenza Risk Level for poultry has been updated to Red. While head tremors and limp neck are common signs of avian influenza in sick wild birds, signs of Avian Flu in domestic birds can include:
For more information concerning Avian Influenza, visit: