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outdoors

July 26, 2021 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, songbirds, outdoors, news.

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There is concern among wildlife experts throughout the Northeast about a mysterious disease that killing songbirds and while there's no confirmation that the unknown pathogen has reached Genesee County it has been reported in the Southern Tier.

Close enough that bird lovers might want to exercise caution, which could include taking down birdfeeders.

Birdfeeders and birdbaths are places that encourage songbirds to congregate, which could help spread the disease.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking state residents to report any unusual bird deaths.

The Audobon Society reported in early July:

In April, scores of birds in the greater Washington, D.C., area began displaying strange symptoms. Their eyes were swollen and crusty; some became disoriented, started twitching, and died.

“They were having a hard time seeing,” says Nicole Nemeth of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study. “Sometimes they don’t seem to be able to use their hind legs.” 

By the end of May, similar reports were rolling in from across Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. By June, sick birds had turned up in Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, and Pennsylvania according to the U.S. Geological Survey Wildlife Health Information Sharing Partnership.

The Batavian checked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County and the DEC, and while neither agency reported local incidents, the DEC did issue the following statement.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received social media reports about bird deaths in Western New York, as well as the reports of bird deaths documented in other Eastern states.

DEC wildlife personnel have received about two dozen calls from the public reporting a dead bird, usually in their yard. There are typically many dead fledgling birds on the landscape during this time of year; normal nestling/fledgling mortality rates are high with only 25 to 50 percent of songbirds surviving their first year.

Because of the documented issues involving mass bird deaths -- mostly of fledglings of starlings, grackles, blue jays, and robins with neurologic signs and/or eye lesions -- in the mid-Atlantic states, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, DEC wildlife staff are on alert to look out for dead birds. However, there are no confirmed links between the local bird deaths and what's happening in other states. 

The help of the public is appreciated to determine the nature of these unusual mortality events, which may affect the eyes and neurological system of birds. If saving a bird carcass for DEC, gloves should be used to pick up the bird. The bird should be placed in a plastic baggie, kept on ice and in the shade.

Anyone handling birds, even with gloved hands, should thoroughly wash their hands afterward. Only freshly deceased birds should be saved, due to how quickly carcasses degrade in the heat. Those collecting birds should also provide DEC with their name, address and phone number. Contact the wildlife staff at the nearest DEC regional office (https://www.dec.ny.gov/about/558.html

DEC is also working with avian experts from Cornell Wildlife Health Lab. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

May 19, 2021 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, animals, batavia, video.
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May 4, 2021 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, batavia, news.

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Reader Paul Barrett shared this photo of a wandering beaver waddling down East Main near Liberty in Batavia.

December 27, 2020 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, outdoors, news, corfu.

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A reader from Corfu submitted this photo.

December 22, 2020 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in South Main Street, batavia, news, Bald eagles, outdoors, wildlife.

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John Spyropoulos spotted a pair of bald eagles feasting on a deer carcass this morning along the Tonawanda Creek along South Main Street in Batavia. He submitted this photo where you can see one of the eagles at the top of a tree.

November 25, 2020 - 6:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, outdoors, animals.

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While hunting with her dad yesterday, Novalee Pocock, 14, from Bergen, had a close encounter of the raccoon kind. While in a wooded area, a raccoon came up to her and jumped in her lap. 

According to her mother, the raccoon cuddled right up to her to stay warm.

"She will never forget this encounter with the wildlife while hunting for deer with her dad," she said.

Submitted photo and information.

October 13, 2020 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, outdoors, news.

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Brandon Payne caught another large pike at DeWitt Recreation Area yesterday.

Submitted photo.

October 6, 2020 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, sports, Le Roy, bowhunting.

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Chris Merica, of Le Roy, shot this nine-pointer on the first day of the bowhunting season. His girlfriend, Jenna Read, who shared this photo, said, "He practiced so hard all summer for this exact deer! He’s been waiting quite some time for his trophy buck. I just wanted to give him a little shout-out, he earned this!"

October 2, 2020 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, corfu, news, bow hunting.

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Sean Akin of Corfu landed this buck yesterday, the first day of bow hunting this season.

September 27, 2020 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, outdoors, news.

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Justin Gugel shared this photo of himself and a 34-inch, 11-pound pike he caught yesterday at the DeWitt Recreation Area.

September 13, 2020 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, birds, animals, batavia, news.

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Jason Smith shared this photo of a male cardinal feeding a female cardinal in the backyard of his Batavia home.

August 2, 2020 - 4:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Trail, news, batavia, outdoors.

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Jason Smith shared this photo of a deer he spotted along the Ellicott Trail this morning.

July 27, 2020 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, outdoors, nature, news, batavia.

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Angela Schlaggel spotted this white pigeon in the parking lot of The Salvation Army in Batavia and noticed it was wearing a bracelet. 

The pigeon had been at the location for the last two hours at the time Schlaggel sent us the picture this morning.

"It has a bracelet and isn't bothered by my presence at all so I think it may be someone's escaped pet," she said. 

July 27, 2020 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Butterfly, news, outdoors, nature.

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Anna Fenton shared these photos of a butterfly she found in her back yard.

Can any readers identify it?

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June 1, 2020 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tonawanda Creek, outdoors, fishing, news, photos, batavia.

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It was a beautiful evening for fishing on the Tonawanda Creek behind the courthouse in Batavia.

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May 24, 2020 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east bethany, news, birds, outdoors, Pileated Woodpecker.

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Chris Kuehl, of East Bethany, took this photo of a pileated woodpecker.

Her husband, Chuck, who submitted the photo, said and his wife have lived at their residence for 17 years and added, "We see pileated woodpeckers all the time but this is the first time one keeps coming to our suet and boy does he go through it. We live by a very large wooded area and get a very large variety of birds. Just love living here!!"

May 23, 2020 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature, outdoors, news.

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James Elmore shared this photo from Thursday morning of an oriole eating some jelly in his backyard.

April 26, 2020 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eagles, news, outdoors, animals, Stafford.

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Judy Schildwaster submitted this photo of a juvenile bald eagle taken yesterday morning off of Route 33 in Stafford.

April 22, 2020 - 12:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Earth Day, batavia, nature, outdoors, news.

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Photos submitted by Jason Smith, taken in his back yard in Batavia.

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April 18, 2020 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in eagle, news, Pavilion, outdoors.

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Jeremy McClellan submitted this photo of an eagle he spotted off of Route 20 in Pavilion.

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