Rash of Dead Birds Piques Biologist’s Interest

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

An increasing number of dead birds have been showing up in downtown Kodiak. The die off is attracting the interest of federal officials, who were initially concerned the birds were dying from an avian disease. Robin Corcoran is the bird biologist for the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. She says it’s a bit of a mystery but someone may be poisoning or shooting the birds. She says there’s another possible explanation too.

The majority of the dead birds are pigeons, which are not indigenous, but Corcoran has collected crows and a seagull as well.

Corcoran is concerned that if some of the birds are being poisoned, eagles, which are protected under federal law, could become poisoned, too.

Corcoran says if the bird deaths expand to migratory or protected species, they could span local, state and federal jurisdictions.

Corcoran says there are two hunting seasons for crows, but not in the summertime. Pigeons are fair game year-round, and there is no bag limit.

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