At The Bird House we have been getting many questions about the Avian Influenza outbreak and how it may affect bird feeding and feeders. Thankfully, there isn’t any evidence that this flu outbreak is affecting songbirds at feeders. The good news is, to date there hasn’t been a single songbird that has been found with the disease. In New York there have been 39 cases of the Avian Flu in the wild. The birds affected have been mostly waterfowl and birds of prey. In Monroe County we have had three cases, and all were birds of prey. The birds that are seriously being impacted by this disease are domestic poultry. Nationwide 1,295 wild birds have been affected compared to almost 38 million domestic poulty. The CDC has records of all the birds that have been affected. Click here to view the stats.
We reached out to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to get the best up-to-date information on if there is an outbreak and their recommendations. Their response was as follows:
“We are paying attention to the situation. Avian influenza viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Wild aquatic birds can be infected with Avian Influenza viruses in their intestines and respiratory tract, but usually do not get sick. There are no suggestions to take bird feeders down as this is currently an issue in poultry.”
At The Bird House we take the health of birds seriously and will always let you know if a situation like Avian Influenza is affecting wild birds in the Rochester area. It is always a good idea to keep your feeders clean and the seed fresh for optimal health of the birds. This time of the year make sure your birdbath is also clean and the water changed regularly. For the most up-to-date information join us for our weekly livestreams on Facebook and YouTube live each Tuesday and Saturday at 10am.