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Audubon Society: Crows 'literally falling from the sky' were poisoned with toxic pesticide

Audubon Society: Crows 'falling from the sky' were poisoned with toxic pesticide

The Portland Audubon Society confirmed dozens of crows that were reported to have been "falling from the sky" earlier this year were poisoned with a toxic pesticide.

The birds were found to have been poisoned with Avitrol, a neurotoxin used as a restricted pesticide that could only be administered by a licensed official. Avitrol has "acute oral and dermal toxicity" and "extreme toxicity to mammals and birds."

KATU News reported more than a dozen birds were found in the Piedmont neighborhood of NE Portland on Jan. 30.

"Birds were literally dropping out of the sky and dying on the ground as they flew," Bob Sallinger, with the Portland Audubon said.

RELATED: Portland Audubon investigates after crows start 'literally dropping out of the sky'

The Audubon Society says the perpetrators responsible likely violated two federal law; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

"They caused the crows to suffer a cruel and inhumane death and they put people, pets and non-target wildlife at real risk of secondary exposure," an Audubon Society official said in a news release. "Portlanders place great value on our local wildlife. This poisoning event was inhumane, irresponsible, and most likely illegal."

The birds are American Crows, and are protected federally by the MBTA.

Portland Audubon is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to identifying the cause of this crow mortality event. Members of the public with information regarding the crow die-off can also report this information at 503 292-0304.

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