Avian influenza is spreading its wings across the state of Idaho.

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To date, the Avian Flu has primarily targeted the Gem State's migratory duck and geese populations, but red-tailed Hawks, Gyrfalcons, are Peregrine Falcons are also at risk.

According to Boise Parks and Recreation Director, Doug Holloway, Ann Morrison, Julia Davis, Esther Simplot, Redwood, and Bernadine Quinn Riverside parks were the sites of a series of bird deaths and illnesses.

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On the transmission of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control have sited waterfowl as an index for avian influenza as it's naturally occurring in the aquatic birds.

Birds infected with the virus spread it through fecal droppings, saliva, and nasal secretions.

And unlike the naturally occurring immunity waterfowl typically possess, the majority of Zoo Boise's birds aren't as fortunate.

For this reason, Zoo Boise isn't taking any chances.

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As the threat of bird flu continues its spread across Idaho, Zoo Boise officials have preemptively opted to quarantine its aviary residents.

Until the state and federal authorities mitigate or altogether eliminate avian influenza, Zoo Boise's birds will remain safely quarantined.

So what does bird quarantine look like? Honestly, it's probably a lot better than the conditions most humans endured during Covid-19 quarantines.

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Shielded by new sealed roofs over their spaces, birds in outdoor-exhibits like penguins and sea eagles are largely undisturbed. As for our feathered friends accustomed to warm climates, they've simply returned to their regular indoor winter routines.

While Zoo Boise has fielded a few questions regarding the absence of their birds, concerned citizens seem to support the protective measures.

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To help expedite the containment of the virus, Idaho Fish and Game encourages Idahoans to reduce opportunities for local aquatic birds to gather. Easy and effective methods include taking down bird feeders and emptying the basins of bird baths.

For more information on how to protect your birds, slow the spread of avian influenza, and report sick or dead birds near you, contact Idaho Fish and Game.


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