Long time listener, first time on the air. Curious if any MassBirders have noticed unusually high numbers of dead seabirds in recent weeks? Our lab at Tufts University has been working to diagnose the cause of the seal die-off <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/science/dead-seals-new-england.html> that has been reported as killing approximately 600 seals around the Isles of Shoals. Concurrently there has been an uptick in the number of dead birds reported to the wildlife rehab centres in ME and NH. We are curious to understand if the cause of the seal mortalities is also killing birds along the New England coast. The primary pathogen that has been detected in the dead seals is Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV) but we suspect a co-infection with other wildlife pathogens. Hoping to enlist the help of MassBirders in determining whether indeed there is an increase in the number of dead birds occurring in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. The following would be helpful information for us…about what bird species where observed dead, what bird live species were observed in proximity, whether seals were also observed, as well as location and date of the event
Hugely grateful for any information that the collective brainpower of Mass Bird could provide.
Nichola J. Hill Senior ResearchAssociate
Runstadler Lab Department of Infectious Disease & Global Health Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01539 Cell: 617-447-8036 / Office: 508-839-8775 Report a banded gull: gullwatch.vet.tufts.edu <https://gullwatch.vet.tufts.edu>