Yes, paper showing live ducks capable of flying with H5N1; haven’t shown they actually transmit it, tho of course plausible.

The existence of distinct clusters also means the main carriers cannot be wide-ranging birds – instead, most transmission is via local poultry movements. Co-author Malik Peiris, of the University of Hong Kong, told New Scientist: “If there had been repeated waves of virus introduced into, for example, Yunnan, one would expect multiple sub-lineages of the virus. But in each place there is only one.”

surely important

Long distance transmission

But wild birds are involved. The team found H5N1 in six apparently-healthy migratory ducks at Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province, which borders Guangdong and Hunan, in January and March 2005, before the northward migration. The isolates had all the genes, and certain specific mutations, later found in geese at Qinghai Lake, 1700 kilometres northwest. And this virus, notes Peiris, is very like H5N1 in Turkey.

but, these places not linked by major migration routes; Poyang winter birds don’t – for vast majority – move to Qinghai, instead to Mongolia, ne China and beyond.

The team also tested whether the Poyang viruses would make ducks too sick to fly by infecting young mallards. “Most got a bit sick then recovered,” says Webster, and all shed virus for up to a week. “The evidence is now overwhelming that migrating birds can move H5N1 over long distances,” says Peiris. “But they are not the scapegoats for maintaining H5N1 within poultry. There the cause and solution lies within the poultry industry.”

Just had a read of paper; plenty of questions arise tho too tired after long day in field to do much now; may open separate thread.