Published on March 7, 2022

Blue Hills Trailside Museum Moves Birds Inside

Red-tailed Hawk

Blue Hills Trailside Museum is proactively moving all exhibit birds into indoor aviaries due to concerns about avian influenza, which is highly contagious and could be fatal to some of the birds.

On March 2, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the state. Avian influenza can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and caretakers’ clothing.

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined the recent detections of HPAI do not present an immediate public health concern, the USDA and MDAR urged those involved in the care for or production of poultry to review and increase their safety measures to prevent the spread of illness among birds.

Lauren Gordon, Metro South Regional Director says “moving the birds is an important preventative measure to keep them safe. By bringing the birds inside, we can more closely monitor them and prevent wild birds, who often frequent the grounds of Blue Hills, from having contact with our collection and potentially exposing them to the virus”.

In the past few weeks, the USDA has also identified bid flu cases in wild birds found in Maine and Connecticut.

Gordon says she understands many visitors will be disappointed they will be unable to see the Snowy Owl, Bald Eagle, and other birds during their visit but says the health and safety of our animals is our top priority. Gordon hopes visitors continue to support and visit Trailside by enjoying the wildlife sanctuary's other outdoor exhibits and indoor exhibits that will remain open.