Test results are pending to explain this puzzling and disturbing die-off of mallards along a small, remote Idaho creek. Bacterial or fungal agents are said to be suspected, but why only mallards susceptible?
Migratory mallards from Canada and their local cousins staggered and struggled to breathe before collapsing, Parrish said. He said every mallard in a radius of several miles has died–approximately 2,500, up from an earlier estimate of 1,000.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in 20 years here,” he said. “There were dead mallards everywhere–in the water and on the banks. It was odd; they were in a very small area.”
The massive outbreak is puzzling scientists because only mallard ducks are dying. Golden eagles, geese, magpies, crows and other birds in the area all remain healthy.”