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State cautions bird owners after avian flu was detected in a flock this week

Biden Bird Deaths
Robert F. Bukaty
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2021, file photo a cormorant flies in looking for an available piling on which to land, in Portland, Maine. The seabirds make a living of diving for small fish and crustaceans.

The Maine Department of Agriculture is continuing to advise bird owners to take extra caution in the coming weeks after the agency detected avian flu in a backyard flock earlier this week.

The department hadn't received a confirmed case since early April and said the virus tends to subside in the summer.

But with the latest case, the agency is continuing to recommend that any competitions, exhibitions or other in-person events with domestic birds be postponed for at least 30 days after the last detection.

The USDA says that avian flu has been confirmed in 279 flocks nationwide this year, and more than 40 million birds have been affected.

State wildlife officials said earlier this week that they're receiving frequent reports of the disease in marine birds washing up dead along the Maine coast.