#3682
imported_Martin
Participant

following another post to Agonist’s qinghai birds tracking thread, which yet again brought up the ducks and geese that died of h5n1 in Hong Kong parks, plus mention of h5n1 being found in Guangdong geese, I posted: Someone else already mentioned re the nesting areas of Great Shearwater. Nesting away from predators that can pop down burrows and eat young, eggs, adults. So, offshore islands favoured – kinds of places with few other birds except other nesting seabirds. Discount shearwaters; realm of fantasy. (They’re rather like albatrosses, nigh on classic oceanic birds; can even drink seawater, excreting salt thro tubes on bills.

Any gulls you see are gulls, quite distinct from shearwaters, and coastal or even inland living.) Surely, for potential vector, you’d want bird that can more readily get infected by faecal to oral route (key way for birds I believe): ducks, geese and swans that live much of time in water, with some species grazing on grass (excreting as they go) – which I think explains why regular bird flus naturally high in these birds, and they’re unaffected by such regular flus.

Plus, of course, poultry – you ever see some of the footage from inside some of China’s poultry farms, with great numbers of birds, denselye packed, and loads of faecal slurry around (mixing in with water from attempts to clean it – runoff from cleaning likely to water courses, hence giving another means of likely spread)? Those geese in Guangdong were from farms. (Geese winter further north in China; they’re hardy birds that don’t travel far south – bar-headed being exception, still tough, but unable to winter so far north coz of Himalayas, so for large proportion flying over them to India.)

Rather as the flamingo, and all ducks and geese recorded with h5n1 in Hong Kong. Take a look at my Dead Ducks Don’t Fly and Info and links re bird flu pages, where I tried to gather the reports of bird flu in wild birds to around summer 2004. If you’ve more reports that credible, please let me know. (Looking here before would have halted need for unnecessary posting re HK ornamental birds as if they are wild. Similarly, black swans in Shenzhen died from bird flu. Again, just as "wild" as those Thai zoo tigers. Again, we humans making birds victims, not vectors.)

HK annually hosts tens of thousands of wild waterbirds: cormorants, gulls, ducks, shorebirds, herons… So, surely you’d expect wild ducks to sicken and die from bird flu if it was spread from parks – and to do so before any purported spread to places thousands of km away, but birds that can’t fly as wings clipped (or in case of Guangdong geese, in farms, and taken off to markets for eating, or movement to other farms). Instead, none have (yet) done so.