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Crows and West Nile Disease

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The topic of dead crows has come up on my community's chat group (SF Bay area). Apparently people are finding an unusual number of dead crows here and there, with one neighbour reporting 3 on or adjacent to her property -- two of which at the same time. Naturally people are raising the possibility of West Nile disease and I am wondering if anybody has any insight into whether this should be taken seriously, or what the prudent course of action should be. We are aware of the state government's West Nile alert web page and, to answer my own question, I guess it would be only prudent to let them know. Any other thoughts? Thanks!


Edited by Mark F
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I too am in the Bay Area.  Yes, they should be reported.  Westnile.ca.gov.

Last summer, I noticed a crow that somehow seemed to be behaving oddly.  A few hours later, I found a dead crow in my front yard.  I reported it, and the county came a picked it up.  It tested positive for WNV.  Apparently if it is recent and not chewed on by other animals, they can use it.  There is ongoing surveillance for the virus in mosquitoes as well, and in some areas there has been spraying done.  The website lists the activity by county across the state, so you can see how often it is found in your area.  

I have noticed fewer jays than 15 years ago.  Back then I saw them all the time, now it is uncommon.  I thought for a while it was because there were so many more crows.  Now, we have fewer crows and fewer jays.  ?

The best protection, for birds and people, is to be sure there is no standing water around for the little suckers to breed in.  

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Thank you, dianed. Funny you should say that. My neighbor was telling me that four years ago we had 3 or 4 times the number of crows we have now in Alameda (or at least our part of Alameda). Gotta wonder if WN has been taking them down. 

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