Deadly African disease causes sharp decline of blackbirds

The common blackbird has disappeared from about 50 percent of Czech gardens, following the outbreak of a dangerous mosquito-carried African bird disease in the summer of last year, the Czech Union for Nature Conservation said on Thursday.

The blackbird, which used to be the country’s most common garden species, has become nearly extinct in Prague and Central Bohemia after being hit by the Usutu virus. The disease, which can also be transmitted to other bird species, was first detected in the country in 2011.

Author: Ruth Fraňková