As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Botulism seen in Upper Peninsula water bird deaths


GULLIVER, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say they've found the bodies of about 700 water birds along a stretch of northern Lake Michigan shoreline in the Upper Peninsula.

The Mining Journal of Marquette (http://bit.ly/PQ1Gun ) says authorities suspect that the birds died of Type-E botulism.

The 694 dead birds were found in Schoolcraft County near the unincorporated village of Gulliver. They include 247 common loons, 152 horned grebes, 98 red-necked grebes, 73 long-tailed ducks and 64 white-winged scoters.

Authorities say there also were smaller numbers of ring-billed gulls, double-crested cormorants, red-breasted mergansers and herring gulls.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says Type-E botulism bacteria cause a toxin that paralyses birds and fish. Similar die-offs happened in the Upper Peninsula in 2007 and near Sleeping Bear Dunes National lakeshore in northern Lower Peninsula in 2006.

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