Birds are getting sick and dying and no one really knows what's causing it. So far, 9 states have reported a "mortality event" where large numbers of songbirds have been found dead. If you have songbirds around your yard or eating out of your bird feeder, here's what you should know.

Shawn Michaels
Credit: Shawn Michaels

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Look at how beautiful that bluejay is. Between their colors and amazing voices, songbirds bring bright energy to New Jersey. Sadly, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife is reporting a "morbidity/mortality event."  In some areas, officials are encouraging people NOT to hang a bird feeder as it could speed the spread.

What is a "morbidity/mortality event."

These terms are used when large numbers of a certain species, or multiple species, die within a short period of time. The NJDEP explains that "since mid-May, numerous young birds - mainly blue jays, starlings, and common grackles, but also robins and cardinals - have been found with eye and neurologic issues..."

Which birds are passing away unexpectedly?

The main species affected are considered songbirds.  Those include birds like grackles, robins, blue jays, and cardinals.

The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife needs YOUR help.

Let them know what you're seeing.  If you see any symptomatic birds around your neighborhood, let them know.  Symptoms include an inability to stand, "excessive vocalizations", tremors, or paralysis.  Call them at 10877-WARN-DEP or e-mail Dr. Nicole Lewis at

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