Saturday, June 22, 2024, 4:51 PM

>Galleries >> Symptoms and Illness

During the past 5 years while visiting the Esquimalt Lagoon daily we have observed recurring symptoms in ducks geese and swans. We have monitored these sick birds over the months and see them become gradually weaker as their symptoms worsen. Usually, by 4 to 6 months the birds disappear or occasionally we have found their body.

We are deeply concerned about the health of the lagoon water birds and indeed, the future of the lagoon as a Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

We wonder why birds are displaying neurologically impaired symptoms. As many as 12 to 16 geese disappeared late summer in 2006. Three geese disappeared between Christmas and New Years 2007. A mute swan died on the beach Sept. 2007. As of June 6 2008 we are observing several geese who walk with uneven gaits, easily go off balance or are lame. One goose loses control of its neck which twitches and twists around to its back as it becomes increasingly agitated as its movements become quicker and more jerky. ie. running in circles and finally flying in several circles.

It is becoming common knowledge that heavy metals interfere with the life process at the cellular level. During the past two years analysis of geese and swan feathersand samples of lagoon seaweed and ribbon grass show high levels of various heavy metals, such as aluminum, arsenic, lead etc. Aluminum was consistently high in all tests/

The photographs show some of the symptoms observed, however many symptoms require a video camera. Other symptoms we observe are; unsteady gait, falling over, tipsy movements, falling backwards onto tail, quick jerky movements, running in circles, flying in circles, lack of water proofing of feathers, mouth open gasping for breath and coughing.