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Sudden Death in Cackling Canada Geese in Oregon

Recombinomics Commentary
February 6, 2005

>> Bruce Nopp, 60, who lives on Swingwood Court in Keizer, said he had a goose crash land in his driveway three months ago.

"It was very unusual. ... At first, we thought it had been shot or his wing broke," Nopp said. The goose appeared to be dead, but then it began convulsing, he said………..

Kathy Andrews, 52, who lives near Staats Lake, said she counted about 26 dead geese one day while she was exercising around Staats Lake.

"That really raised my level of concern. They were floating in the water against the shore. ... I was startled.....<<

Avian influenza has been extensively studied in Vietnam and Thailand because of the devastating effects the H5N1 infections have had on the poultry industry.  The outbreak in Thailand in 2004 was described in a slide presentation by the Institute Of Medicine.  The clinical symptoms are listed in slide 19.  The number #1 symptom, found in 71.6% of the ducks and geese was sudden death.  Also high on the list was convulsions / twisted neck found in 20.2% of the birds.

It seems that avian influenza (bird flu) would be one explanation for birds falling out of the sky or appearing to swim with their heads under water.

Clinical signs
Duck : Swollen head
Goose : Cloudy or opaque eyes
2.8% Sinusitis
23.9% Respiratory distress
11.9% Watery eyes
2.8 % Hemorrhage of the shank
31.2% Congestion and cyanosis of comb and wattle
20.2% Swollen face
19.3% Diarrhea
20.2% Convulsion, twisted neck
71.6 % Sudden death

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