A fungal infection from moldy grain has been killing dozens of trumpeter swans wintering on Wiser Lake in Whatcom County.
Wildlife biologist Martha Jordan of Washington Swan Stewards tells The Bellingham Herald that 149 of the big white birds were found dead in the county as of Jan. 27. That compares with fewer than 100 deaths in northwest Washington in the same period last year.
A biologist with the state Fish and Wildlife Department, Chris Danilson, says some of the birds have been analyzed at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. It found some of the swans had been killed by the fungal disease, aspergillosis, contracted from eating moldy grain.
The center found a decline in the number of swans dying from eating leftover lead shotgun pellets.