Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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The birds

A real horror show. The birds in Echo Park are getting sick and dying. Chicken Corner has received numerous reports of stricken ducks and coots at Echo Park Lake, and one cursory report that bird counts are down at the L.A. River, too.

Martin Cox wrote me the following:

Hi Jenny: OK now I am concerned. Today I saw a dead coot floating in the water, a gravely ill Mallard male on it's last legs, unable to move and probably starving and dead female mallard and a dead turtle all in a fairly small area of the lake near that big county drain overflow [basin].
First 3 years of dying lotus, now many more bird deaths in short space of time, I have never seen this many dead birds at the lake.
Who can one call? I mean someone who cares?

I am working on that question of whom to call. When the park workers were leaving the island gate open, I called city parks workers about four times, leaving phone messages (with my phone number at the top of the message) and I never received so much as a courtesy return call. ... In the meantime, one parks worker who DOES take his job seriously, Dave Foster, believes the birds are dying of avian botulism.

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