Oriental, NC, United States
During the past several weeks I observed an occasional blackbird that acted sick–staying on the ground when other birds spooked and flew, fluffed up feathers, sitting with eyes closed, occasionally pumping up and down in place. One dead male red wing was found on the ground–nothing out of the ordinary was obvious. All other sick redwings were female (probably same bird as only one was seen at any one time).
Today I observed a female redwing and one female cardinal with fluffed feathers, mostly feeding on the ground and then sitting close together, eyes closed. The redwing’s right eye was mostly closed; feathers on head and around eyes looked wet. Another female redwing had the same symptoms. All three birds were feeding, could fly if they had to, but were not part of the flock.
I have attached pictures but the weather has been rainy, cold, and dark so photos are not great.