Woman discovers dead birds outside of home

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 21:38:11-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. - A series of unsettling discoveries is causing some angst in a Carlsbad neighborhood.

Resident Janelle Dodkin told 10News, "Right now, I'm just spraying on this mosquito repellant to keep myself safe."

Dodkin's nervousness began in mid-June when she walked outside her house.

"The first one I found was a hawk right underneath a tree on a sidewalk," said Dodkin.

The dead Cooper's hawk was quickly collected by San Diego County officials.

Days later, Dodkin found another one.

"It was another hawk. I assumed it fell from a tree and landed in the middle of the street," she said.

A few days later, she found a dead crow just feet away from where the other two birds were found.

"It was like, what's going on? How often is this going to happen? Every morning I go get my newspaper, I see another dead bird," said Dodkin.

The crow and one of the hawks were too decomposed to test, but the first hawk tested positive for West Nile virus.

"My concern is this neighborhood has become home to a cluster of mosquitoes with West Nile virus," said Dodkin.

Dodkin posted her discoveries on the website Nextdoor. A neighbor responded and said he recently found three dead crows in a nearby neighborhood.

10News took the information to the county's Vector Control Program, and officials said a cluster of dead birds is not that unusual. They also said because birds cover a lot of ground, a cluster of dead birds in one area doesn't mean there are West Nile-carrying mosquitoes in the area.

In the past several weeks, mosquitoes have bitten Dodkin three times.

Most people who contract the virus never develop any symptoms, and Dodkin told 10News, "So far so good; I haven't gotten sick."

There has not been one human West Nile virus case reported in California this year.

The county confirmed 147 cases of West Nile in birds and one in a horse this year.