Response to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI- commonly known as Bird Flu)
Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society’s Official Response to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI- commonly known as Bird Flu).
Bird Flu has recently been found throughout Alberta and is spreading among wild, domestic, and captive birds.
Calgary Wildlife will temporarily not be accepting waterfowl and corvids, and will only be accepting a limited number of raptors.
We are currently trying to secure funds to purchase and build an isolation trailer, which will allow us to open back up again to these birds, but until that happens we must remain closed to waterfowl and corvids to prevent the spread of bird flu at our clinic, protecting our permanent residents and current patients.
What is it?
Bird flu is very contagious and has a 90% mortality rate among wild and domestic birds and is killing millions of birds.
Which birds are affected?
All birds can be affected, however, the following are the most susceptible;
Waterfowl (ducks, geese, herons etc),
Raptors (owls, eagles, hawks etc),
Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, bluejays etc)
What are the signs?
Lack of energy or movement
Nervousness, tremors, or lack of coordination
Swelling around the head, neck, and eyes
Coughing, gasping for air or sneezing
Do not move or touch ducks, geese, and goslings (or any waterfowl) as moving the bird will spread the virus. Often waterfowl don’t show signs of bird flu but can still infect other birds and die from it.
If you see a bird displaying any strange behaviours, assume it has been infected and keep your distance.
If you find a dead bird, report it to Alberta Environment and Parks Office at 310-0000.
We understand it can be very difficult to see an animal in distress and not help them, however, due to the highly contagious nature of bird flu, leaving the bird alone is the only option. Bird flu is a zoonotic disease and although rare, can jump to other species and humans.
If you see a bird in distress, please call our hotline at 403-214-1312 for advice on your specific situation.
If you have an injured raptor, please call our hotline before bringing the bird to our centre as we are very limited to how many we can take in.