This issue of raptor release was written prior to the current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, but we still want to address this major event in this publication. Highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, is a strain of bird flu currently spreading across the united states. Carried primarily by waterfowl, like ducks and geese, this strain is deadly for domestic birds, like chickens and turkeys, and fatal to raptor species.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza has major implications for our agricultural sector, and it is rightfully getting a lot of attention. It is also having a serious impact on raptors and the work of wildlife rehabilitators. For us at the raptor center, this means heartbreak as we see these ill birds coming to us without a way to heal them.
What we are doing, however, is continuing to rescue and treat those that come to us without HPAI and easing the suffering of those already infected. To accomplish this, we've enacted extreme biosecurity measures and erected a separate triage and quarantine area to test and assess incoming patients. Through these enhanced measures, we are still doing everything that we can to protect the owls, eagles, hawks, and falcons that need our help and can be released back to the wild.
We will cover HPAI in more depth in our fall issue of raptor release, but you can stay up-to-date on what we're doing to combat it and how it is impacting wild raptors by checking out our website or following us on Facebook at www.raptor.umn.edu or @TheRaptorCenter.