Starlings, introduced into North America from Europe in the 19th century, have become a widespread nuisance. And they just got more annoying: It turns out they're good at carrying bird flu.
During the past two winters, common songbirds in Hong Kong "have been dropping dead out of the sky," says Robert Webster, an infectious-diseases specialist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Some of those birds died from avian influenza. Webster and his colleagues wanted to know what role the birds might play in spreading the virus.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.