Investigators, declining to comment on potential supernatural causes, attribute the 2,000-strong bird storm to avian cholera.
A Fish and Game press release assures readers, "Humans are not at a high risk of infection," but also contains a worrying combination of the words "eagles" "feeding" "infected" "birds" "carcasses" and "delayed incubation period."
According to Schmidt, "The important thing is to quickly collect as many of the carcasses as possible, to prevent other birds from feeding on the infected birds." In the case of Mud Lake WMA, biologists observed about twenty eagles in the vicinity of some of the carcasses. Because of a delayed incubation period it is uncertain where these eagles might be located, if and when the avian cholera affects them.
If the public observes dead birds, they are asked to call and report the location to the Upper Snake Regional Office at 208-525-7290.