Research crews on the Yukon Delta have been finding dead birds with the suspected cause of death being Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. The birds have been found in lakes/ponds, and on pond shores as they appear to be sleeping, but are in fact deceased. Species detected as of 6/5/2023 have been sabines gulls and cackling geese. The dead birds are being swabbed to be tested for bird flu, but will not be analyzed until end of June when the samples can be sent to the lab.
Other species have also been displaying other behaviors. Cackling geese have been noticed to be shaking their heads more than would be expected, and black brant have been detected sneezing a lot and displaying head shaking behavior.
When reporting on dead or sick wild birds, it is important to include the location, species, number of birds, and their condition, such as whether they are dying, injured, behaving erratically, or have lost their fear of humans. To report such cases, individuals can contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Avian Flu Hotline at 866-527-3358 or 907-229-6357 (until October 31, 2023), or report to the LEO Network. For reporting on sick or dead wild mammals, individuals can contact the ADF&G Wildlife Veterinarian at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report sick or dead domestic birds, individuals can contact the Office of the State Veterinarian at 907-375-8215.