The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is coordinating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plant and Animal Health Inspection Service to assess and monitor the avian influenza outbreak. The highly pathogenic avian influenza, known as HPAI for short has been found in both domestic poultry and wild birds in Minnesota. You can help assist the Minnesota DNR's response by reporting sick birds. But how do you tell if a bird has avian influenza?

If a group of five or more dead birds was found in the same location and in the same timeframe.

The DNR asks that you report to local DNR wildlife or staff if you find five or more dead wild birds in the same area at the same time. The DNR will investigate.

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One or more raptors appear to be sick or have died from no apparent cause.

If you encounter a sick or dead raptor, call the DNR information center at 888-646-6367.

Signs that a bird may have been infected with HPAI.

  • Inability to fly
  • Drooping head
  • Swimming in circles
  • Trouble standing upright
  • tremors
  • loss of coordination

Avian influenza can affect all kinds of birds like chickens, turkeys, captive pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, domestic geese, guinea fowl, and wild birds. The way they judge how pathogenic a strain of avian flu has to do with domestic chickens. They gauge if the strain produces symptoms in chickens. If there are no symptoms in chickens, it's considered a low pathogenic strain. However if chickens are affected and are dying off, it's considered a highly pathogenic avian influenza, which is what we are currently dealing with.

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This has led to an increase in the price of poultry and eggs in Minnesota as entire flocks have died.

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