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Scarlet Tanager in Minnesota. Photo: Bernard P. Friel/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Federal and state wildlife officials in the Mid-Atlantic are asking people to not feed birds and provide water in bird baths after dozens of reports of mysterious songbird deaths, per NPR.

Driving the news: Reports of increased bird deaths started emerging in the Washington, D.C. area in late May. Wildlife agencies throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast and Midwest are now receiving similar reports, according to NPR.

  • Experts are not sure what is causing the illness in birds, which includes symptoms of lethargy and closed, often swollen eyes.
  • "To date all of the findings have either been inconsistent or inconclusive," Lisa Murphy, associate professor of Toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told NPR.

What they're saying: "We did see really large numbers of grackles and blue jays, in particular, and they were all younger," Belinda Burwell, a veterinarian who founded the group Wildlife Veterinary Care in Virginia, told NPR.

  • "I think what's especially challenging about this is that it's not localized ... to one specific geographic area [and] it's not localized to one particular bird species," Murphy said.

Go deeper

U.S. declares more than 20 species extinct after exhaustive searches

People looking at a stuffed ivory-billed woodpecker (left) in a glass case in Clarendon, Ark., in 2005. Photo: Stephen B. Thornton/MCT/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that 22 animals and one plant native to the United States are now extinct and should be removed from the endangered species list after exhausting efforts to find evidence that they are still alive.

Why it matters: After existing for an untold number of years, the species will likely never appear on the planet again, largely because of human-caused habitat destruction and climate change.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, which has been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.