INDIANA (WTHI) -- Since the start of June, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has received reports of sick, disoriented, and dead songbirds. Although the department has ruled out avian influenza and West Nile virus, they still don't know what's causing this.
"We've [seen] birds specifically with eye crustiness, gooey-ness, discharge, as well as swelling and some neurological symptoms such as seizures or birds that seem dis-oriented, or are very tired," explained Allisyn Gillet, Ornithologist for the Indiana DNR.
According to Gillet, the DNR has received reports of sick songbirds in six Indiana counties: Monroe, Clark, Jefferson, LaGrange, Lake, and Marion.
So far, the species affected are the blue jay, American robin, Northern cardinal, common grackle, European starling, and a few others.
The DNR has partnered with the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (IN ADDL) and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center to test these birds.
"People should take down their bird feeders if they do see birds that are exhibiting these symptoms in their areas. When you do take them down, make sure to wear gloves to protect yourself and to do that also with your birdbaths if you have them," Gillet encouraged.
She also explained to News 10 that cleaning your bird feeder and birdbath with a 10 percent bleach solution can help kill viruses.
As of now, the DNR doesn't know if the illness can be passed to humans or pets. If you're a pet owner and live in an area where birds have shown illness symptoms, you're encouraged to keep your pets away from the birds.
According to the DNR, lab results are still pending. Until it knows more, it encourages residents in those affected counties to keep their distance from birds. If you see any sick or dead birds in your area, report it here.