Lynn FullerCitizen Science, Research

USGS needs your help to test for a new virus.

USGS scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the California Academy of Sciences and UC San Francisco, have just discovered a new virus (tentatively named Poecivirus) that is strongly associated with the occurrence of beak deformities in Black-capped Chickadees, Northwestern Crows, and Red-breasted Nuthatches in Alaska. The virus was present in 100% of the birds with beak deformities (30 individuals tested) and only 4.5% of 89 birds tested without obvious signs of the beak disorder.

Read the full handout about beak deformities in Alaska, and learn how you can help.

And beak disorders in the news:

Anchorage Daily News article

See the press release from the California Academy of Sciences.