If you're reading this right now, and you're the type of person who likes to play around with dead birds, two things... First of all: what's wrong with you? Secondly, a warning: you may want to put your favorite hobby on hold for a while, lest you catch a deadly disease. That's probably good advice in general, but it's especially important right now, since bird-flu is back in the news.

Yes, apparently bird flu is sweeping the nation, and Colorado has not been able to escape unscathed. Not one, not two, but three animals have contracted the avian flu so far, and all three have died. We're not talking one species, either, so this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

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The H5N1 bird flu variant is what's decimating bird populations across the world, according to the Denver Post (beware possible paywall). Bird flu is just as contagious to humans and other mammals as it is for our avian friends, and so far in Colorado, a mountain lion, a black bear and a skunk have succumbed to the virus.

Typically, mammals contract the avian flu virus from eating infected birds, which makes perfect sense, as birds are delicious. However, State Wildlife officials have recommended that people avoid contact with dead birds altogether, in order to keep the virus from spreading.

Truthfully, I was unaware that people had to be told to give dead birds a wide berth. I've always preferred to spend as little time around any type of carrion, myself, but I don't judge. I mean it's gross, but whatever. For the time being, if you absolutely have to play with a dead bird, might I recommend you poke it with a stick?

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