USDA Checks Wild Birds at McNary National Wildlife Refuge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

USDA Checks Wild Birds at McNary National Wildlife Refuge

Posted: Updated:
. NBC Right Now met up with biologists at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday to get a feel for just how many birds migrate through our area. . NBC Right Now met up with biologists at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday to get a feel for just how many birds migrate through our area.
BURBANK, WA- The Avian Flu has now been found near Port Angeles, Washington. This news comes after two domestic flocks in Benton County tested positive for the strain.

Wild birds appear to be the cause of the spread of the disease. NBC Right Now met up with biologists at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday to get a feel for just how many birds migrate through our area. 

Staff at the refuge tell NBC Right Now the USDA has already collected samples from bird hunters that use the area. Although results have not come out yet, they do say they have seen an increase in the number of birds that migrate through the habitat.

"I think we've seen more water fowl this year than we did last year. Up to this point there was a couple weeks when we had the big freeze over and everything got frozen. There weren't as many water fowl then, but they have picked up some use in the fields. All together this year we have seen a little bit more water fowl than we had last year," explained Allison Hall-Mullen who works as a Biological Technician at the refuge.

The increase could be due to the fact that staff recently cleaned out carp from much of the wetland. The carp eat the same vegetation a lot of birds need. 

The birds rest in these sloughs, especially overnight.

"If there's ice, the pockets of melted water will be completely full. But if there's not a lot of ice, sometimes you just can't see a lot of the surface of the water. It's got so much water fowl on it. Ducks and geese of all kinds," said Hall-Mullen.

Geese, mallards, eagles, northern pintails and even swans use this area for food and rest.

Hall-Mullen explained, "They all seem to mesh pretty well together, they hang out in their little groups."

A combination of ponds and buckwheat through cooperative farming efforts make this refuge a home for tens of thousands of birds.

"It's a wonderful opportunity we have a really nice walking trail that goes around the whole edge of the slough. There is a lot of informative signs and nature paths. It's a really great opportunity to come out and be in nature", said Hall-Mullen.

These birds are migrating through the Pacific Flyway from Alaska and biologist usually make their counts from November to March every year.


HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Dogs can catch the human flu

    Dogs can catch the human flu

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:10 PM EST2018-01-21 03:10:54 GMT
    HEALTH ALERT-   Flu season is upon us and even when you're careful there's one thing you may not have thought carried the flu virus According to Veterinarians dogs can catch the human flu. They may not experience symptoms but they can spread it to other dogs and humans.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test if your dog is contagious.  But if someone has the flu they says its important that they be mindful of taking their dogs out and about such as to...More >>
    HEALTH ALERT-   Flu season is upon us and even when you're careful there's one thing you may not have thought carried the flu virus According to Veterinarians dogs can catch the human flu. They may not experience symptoms but they can spread it to other dogs and humans.  Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test if your dog is contagious.  But if someone has the flu they says its important that they be mindful of taking their dogs out and about such as to...More >>
  • Inmate found dead in cell at Benton County Jail

    Inmate found dead in cell at Benton County Jail

    Saturday, January 20 2018 10:06 PM EST2018-01-21 03:06:15 GMT
    Kennewick Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Production of Child PornographyKennewick Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Production of Child Pornography
    KENNEWICK- The Benton County Sheriff's Office and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) are currently investigating the death of an inmate on Saturday morning.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Richland Police Department arrived at the jail following the arrest of a 28-year-old male for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding Kennewick warrant for theft. Upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal screening, no indications ...More >>
    KENNEWICK- The Benton County Sheriff's Office and the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) are currently investigating the death of an inmate on Saturday morning.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. the Richland Police Department arrived at the jail following the arrest of a 28-year-old male for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding Kennewick warrant for theft. Upon completing the booking process, which includes a medical, mental health, and suicidal screening, no indications ...More >>
  • Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars for Special Olympics

    Polar Plunge raises thousands of dollars for Special Olympics

    Saturday, January 20 2018 8:04 PM EST2018-01-21 01:04:52 GMT
    RICHLAND, WA.-- On Saturday, dozens of people braved the icy Columbia for 12th Annual Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics. This year, the event was held at the Columbia Park Marina, and 292 people decided to make a splash! If you thought that number was big, how about this: as of this morning, the event raised over $55,000, which will help the 17,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington.  If you didn't get a chance to head out to t...More >>
    RICHLAND, WA.-- On Saturday, dozens of people braved the icy Columbia for 12th Annual Polar Plunge, which raises money for the Special Olympics. This year, the event was held at the Columbia Park Marina, and 292 people decided to make a splash! If you thought that number was big, how about this: as of this morning, the event raised over $55,000, which will help the 17,500 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Washington.  If you didn't get a chance to head out to t...More >>