A baby great horned owl sits in its nest in Salt Lake City on April 8, 2014. Utah wildlife officials said Thursday that six counties now have confirmed bird flu cases in wild birds. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah wildlife officials say six counties now have confirmed bird flu cases in wild birds.

Ten infected birds have been found in Cache, Weber, Salt Lake, Utah, Tooele and Carbon counties. They include Canada geese, great horned owls, hawks, pelicans, turkey vultures and ducks, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said.

Officials are awaiting test results from other dead birds, the division said in a Thursday news release.

Two pelicans found May 13 and a Canada goose found May 16 on the Scofield Reservoir shore are among the most recent bird deaths tied to the sickness. All three were collected by wildlife officials and sent to state facilities for testing.

“The Department of Environmental Quality confirmed the drinking water from Scofield Reservoir would not be impacted by avian flu, since the water is treated. Normal recreational activities, such as fishing and swimming should also not be impacted,” officials said.

Songbirds are not typically affected by the bird flu. Wildlife officials urged those who may find a group of five or more dead waterfowl or shorebirds, or dead scavengers or raptors, to report it to the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office “and absolutely make sure not to touch the birds or pick them up.”

“We are continuing to monitor this virus in wild bird populations. It typically doesn’t have much of an impact on the overall populations of waterfowl, but it’s likely that we will have some die now that it’s been confirmed in wild birds in the state,” said Ginger Stout, veterinarian with the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for KSL.com. A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.

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