Bob and Nettye,
I went running today in the Pine Bush, Blueberry Hill section. I came upon a blue jay acting very strangely. After running across an article in National Geographic this evening (see link below) about an unidentified disease killing many birds, including blue jays, I now realize the bird was in distress and probably dying.
I heard a very loud mournful cooing right next to me that stopped me in my tracks. It was the jay, no more than ten feet from me in a bush. He continued to coo (a noise I’ve never heard a jay make) and was bobbing up and down on his legs. I talked to him to see if he was perhaps stuck and couldn’t fly away. He tried to fly but only got 3 feet higher in the bush, stumbling into branches as he flew. So I left him there and continued running.
Is there someone I should report this to? The article did not mention New York State as one of the places the disease has been identified. There’s always the NYSDEC Wildlife Pathology Unit, formerly headed by Ward Stone. But I wanted to check with you two first to see if you had any insight.