NASSAU, N.Y. – Numerous dead birds were dumped in the area of Mead Road, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Nearly 150 birds were found March 19 in the Town of Nassau close to a water treatment facility. The DEC said they are investigating the incident and some of the birds were delivered to DEC's Wildlife Pathology lab in Delmar on Monday for analysis.
Nassau Town Supervisor David Fleming said a town board member first spotted the birds, so the town sent an employee to check out the area.
“Initial reaction was we didn’t know what they were. That’s a lot of birds,” Town Highway Supervisor Fred McCagg said. “Why?”
Fleming said this behavior is not common in the Town of Nassau.
“There’s nothing natural about it,” he said. “It’s quite disturbing.”
Both the State Police and DEC were called to investigate.
“This particular area has been a problem as there has been illegal dumping in the area,” Fleming continued.
Even though the pile of birds is believed to have been dumped illegally, the origin of deaths is unknown.
McCagg lives about a half mile from the dead birds. He and his neighbors aren’t happy about the discovery.
“My neighbor raises waterfowl, and my other neighbors have chickens,” McCagg said.
One concern is whether or not the birds died of some type of disease.
“There’s concern about other flocks,” Fleming said. “People have chickens. They have ducks. It’s a rural community.”
Fleming has offered a $150 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the dumping of the birds. He also said taxpayers will have to pay a portion of the cost for the investigation of the act and for cleanup.
“This act of illegal dumping is an affront to the residents of Nassau and will not be tolerated. The Town, State Police and DEC are investigating this matter, and the community fully intends to push for the maximum penalties for this disturbing action,” Fleming said in a statement. “This illegal act has a cost for our community and expends valuable resources that should be spent elsewhere. It should be clear that those responsible will be sought out to pay for this cost.”
The Town of Nassau has fines of up to $1,000 for illegal dumping in the community, and jail time is also an option under town code.