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Submitted By

Janet Allen

Durham, NC, United States


Until this week of snow and cold weather, the blue jays had preferred gathering acorns and didn’t come to the feeders. This one may be coming now not just because of the snow but because of his eye problem. I’ve seen a few house finches with eye disease a few weeks ago but not lately.


Eye problems


Blue Jay With Eye Disease

Blue Jay with eye disease in one eye. The other eye looked fine.

10 replies on “Blue jay with eye disease”

Maxine Hartley says:

Blue Jay with eye disease.
I have fed Jays all winter but this is my first with eye disease.
I have not had any House Finches with it this feeder season and they seem to be doing well.
I usually continue sunflower seeds and suet thru the summer and feed both white and red breasted nuthatches, a chickadee and several hatches of Cardinals .
Should I stop?

Many thanks for this input.. and the importance of your observation..
it is December 13th, 2018,and I have also noticed a Blue Jay, and for the last 10 days
have observed,, a weakness in one of its eyes.. which is always kept closed..
I,have not observed any swelling, nor anything that I could attribute to an accident..
I, have followed. directions.. and have disinfected, all feeders..
And have.. maintained.. what is considered.. restriction and observation rules..
And.. have isolated.. feeders and species..
And.. identify. also.. a Blue Jay, with similar. closed eye, not inflamed, but.. one which
displays lethargic activity, in the last 10 days..and is with a flock of other jays..but,
displays.. less activity and flight patterns..
Will follow up.. with pictures.. in the near future, if possible.
Thank you.Maxime..
. for this on December 13th, 2018

Brian Weislrich says:

What can I do to help my blue Jay’s eyes get better? Please help…

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Brian, Whenever you see a sick bird, the best thing to do is to take down your feeders and clean them. If you’re particularly worried about an individual, then it’s best to call your local wildlife rehabilitator (contact your state’s wildlife office for help). As a friendly reminder, only those with federal permits can handle or treat wild birds. However, if this bird is acting normally, it’s possible that it’s simply had a run-in with a predator. There are no records of Blue Jays getting House Finch Eye Disease, though other diseases are possible – lethargy and other odd behaviors can indicate disease. To learn more about sick birds and how to best clean your feeders, visit our Sick Birds and Bird Diseases web page.

Jaye Marie KENNETTE says:

I have a fledgling blue jay I thought just fell out of its nest, so I put it by his tree where I saw his parents. but after leaving it for 3 days, I found it in the middle of my road. upon further inspection, I noticed it’s eyes crusted shut. I watch birds every day at my house and have not seen any other birds with this symptom..

Jeannine says:

We have now found 2 sick, young, blue jays in our yard. They both have had crusted eyes, wobbly walk and don’t fly. They appear blind. The first bird we took to our local wildlife center where they are running tests but are almost certain it has been stricken by a rare new disease of birds on the Eastern seaboard. We were told it has a 100% mortality even with their best efforts. We found the second bird this evening and my husband put it out of it’s misery. These poor birds!!!

I recently found a blue jay in the middle of the road with the same issues described. The animal rehab that I turned the bird into had other birds being seen for the same exacf thing. I found a recent article online discussing a recent surge of this case in the DMV. (See website link) Hopefully they figure it out soon.

Marissa says:

I just experienced a similar situation to the two posts before this. I found a fledgling blue jay on the road. It’s eyes were crusted shut, but did not seem to exhibit any neurological symptoms. I turned it over to the local wildlife rehabilitation office and the said they have seen some birds come in recently afflicted with this new disease. They euthanized the fledgling and are testing it.

Carol Alexander says:

We just found a fledgling blue jay sitting in our back yard,,and although he is squawking and trying to fly, both his eyes have have white on them and we don’t know what to do. He is letting us hold him but I don’t think he can see. I hate to just leave it alone in the yard for the foxes to get.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Carol, Please contact your local certified wildlife rehabilitator – if you’re not sure who that is, contact your state or province’s wildlife department, who should keep a list of certified individuals.

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