‘This is unprecedented’: Avian flu has killed 12,000 birds in Colorado | SummitDaily.com

‘This is unprecedented’: Avian flu has killed 12,000 birds in Colorado

The virus has killed geese, ducks, eagles and hawks, even two Chilean flamingos, federal data shows

Conrad Swanson
The Denver Post
A Canada goose crosses the Denver Trolley tracks near Speer Boulevard during a snowstorm Feb. 16, 2022.
Andy Cross/The Denver Post

The highly pathogenic avian influenza — or bird flu — sweeping across the globe has killed more than 12,000 wild birds in Colorado and the virus is jumping into mammal populations as well, state wildlife officials say.

And it’s unclear when the spread might relent.

“This is unprecedented,” Kristy Pabilonia, director of clinical diagnostics for Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, said. “The fact that it’s now so distributed with our wild bird populations, there are a lot of questions about the best next steps.”

That death toll is likely a “significant underestimate” of the true number of Colorado’s wild birds killed by the virus, Travis Duncan, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said.

The number of birds in commercial flocks — largely chickens and turkeys — killed by the virus is far higher, which has led, in part, to an egg shortage and price increase across the country.

Read the full story on DenverPost.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.