Local News

3 bald eagles in NC have died amid bird flu outbreak

Posted April 18, 2022 2:26 p.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2022 2:33 p.m. EDT

Three bald eagles have died this year in North Carolina from avian flu, according to federal data.

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) shows the three bald eagles died in Beaufort, Dare and Davidson counties.

This year, 36 bald eagles in 14 states have died after contracting bird flu, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Wild birds can be infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and show no signs of illness. They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating, potentially exposing domestic poultry to the virus.

APHIS anticipates additional avian influenza detections will occur in more states as wild bird surveillance continues into the spring. APHIS’ wild bird surveillance program provides an early warning system for the introduction and distribution of avian influenza viruses of concern in the U.S. It allows the APHIS and the poultry industry to take timely and rapid action to reduce the risk of spread to our poultry industry and other populations of concern.

Earlier this month, State Veterinarian Mike Martin canceled all poultry shows and the sale of live birds. The suspension does not impact food sales, just live birds.

The department also said this highly pathogenic avian influenza virus is considered low risk to people and that there are no reports of this strain infecting a person.

According to the state, the warning signs of HPAI include:

  • Reduced energy, decreased appetite, and/or decreased activity
  • Lower egg production and/or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb and wattles
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb and legs
  • Difficulty breathing, runny nares (nose), and/or sneezing
  • Twisting of the head and neck, stumbling, falling down, tremors and/or circling
  • Greenish diarrhea
Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.