What is killing the birds? That's a question that some Mainers are beginning to ask.
When a woman recently posted on the Maine Wildlife Facebook group that she had found two dead sparrows on two consecutive days underneath her neighbor's bird feeder, many bird lovers across the state and beyond responded with what they thought was going on.
To many, the dead sparrows looked like they had just fallen out of the sky and something was indeed very curious about the situation.
An unconfirmed illness of some sort that has been taking the lives of various species of birds has slowly moved from the mid-Atlantic states and into New England, and no one knows for sure what is going on.
Wildlife officials in both Connecticut and Massachusetts are stumped but have just recently advised those who use bird feeders to "take them in", in an effort to slow the virus or disease, or whatever it may be. The directive includes every sort of bird feeder.
Connecticut Audubon Society Executive Director Patrick Comins told Courant.com that the dead birds that they've examined there died “almost certainly a result of this condition."
“It’s really a mysterious disease, and the last thing we need in this world right now is another mysterious disease”, Mass Audubon ornithologist Joan Walsh told BostonHerald.com.
At first, in the southern states, bird authorities there thought that it may have had something to do with the millions of Cicadas that were hatching, but after examining dead birds that had developed symptoms like "crusty and bloated" eyes, they ruled the insects out.
So far, the Maine Audubon Society said there are no confirmed cases in Maine. The group has not advised Mainers to bring in their bird feeders, but that could very quickly change. Although, they do remind us that cleaning our bird feeders on a regular basis is a good idea.
Meanwhile, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology suggests a few ways to protect the birds that we all love so much, including keeping the cat indoors and adding screens or reflectors to the outside of windows.