Ithaca the Golden Eagle has died. He was 37 years old. West Nile is an evil disease--it kills us without mercy, and people seem to think it's us birds that transmit it when it's those horrid mosquitoes.
Of course, when they do think through that element, they try to poison the mosquitoes without realizing that every single pesticide designed to kill adult mosquitoes is harmful. The only thing that somewhat reduces them without hurting much else is the Bt designed to kill mosquitoe larvae. Of course, the disease probably made it to America via either a horse or human who had been infected elsewhere before arriving in the U.S., or carelessness in allowing standing water and mosquito larvae to make it here from the Middle East via shipping.
The worst mosquitoes for transmitting the virus are the ones the breed in gutters and other backyard standing water. Diligent people really do make a difference.