Can we now feed the birds?
Experts disagree about whether backyard bird feeding will significantly help bird populations. But feeding certainly can help individual birds in your neighborhood. The general rule for feeding of any wild animal is: do not feed when it might cause harm.
Is it safe to feed the birds? It is extremely unlikely that you would catch bird flu by feeding birds in your garden. But good hygiene at bird feeding stations is always sensible, both to protect the birds and ourselves.
Winter and early spring is the most important time to feed birds, as this is when their natural food is scarce. Feeding birds in the spring and summer may help them to raise their chicks more successfully. Remember, always put peanuts in a rigid mesh feeder, as large pieces of nut can choke baby birds.
You can stop feeding birds as soon as the cold and snowy winter weather is over. Many people stop at this time. But I suggest waiting until May or even June to take down your feeders. Your winter birds may wait until late April to leave.
According to Dr. Julianna Lenoch, director of the U.S. Department of Education APHIS National Wildlife Disease Program, there is currently a very low risk of an outbreak among wild songbirds but people who keep domestic poultry, such as backyard chickens, should take down any feeders to help prevent HPAI spread.
The risk of transmission to humans is very low; there have been no reported human cases in the U.S. So far, there is no evidence that the disease is spread by bird feeders, but experts are advising hobbyists to air on the side of caution.
From 00:01 on Monday 2nd May 2022, The UK's Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, has announced that the mandatory housing measures will be lifted. We know that everyone is very excited about this news and we can't wait to see everyone's hens finally enjoying the sun on their backs again.
CDC has been monitoring for illness among people exposed to bird flu virus-infected birds since these outbreaks were first detected in U.S. wild birds and poultry in late 2021. To date, bird flu viruses have been found in U.S. commercial and backyard poultry in 44 states and in wild birds in 46 states since early 2022.
- Fruit pits and apple seeds.
- Onions and garlic.
While we generally recommend people only put bird feeders out from December 1 through March 31, variable winter weather can sometimes dictate that birdfeeders should be removed even during this period.
When should I stop filling my bird feeder?
The short answer is, you don't stop feeding birds in the winter. Many people wonder when is a good time to take their bird feeders in for the winter and let the birds migrate. The fact is though, that winter may be the most important time to leave your feeders out and stocked with seed.
If you've been helping your local wild birds by supplying them with birdseed through the winter, that's wonderful. However, once spring ramps up it's time to take the feeders down.
In situations where birdseed is spread out with easy access, like on a platform feeder, birds may poop right into the feed. If another bird eats these contaminated seeds, it can spread salmonella. “It's not necessarily a direct risk to humans, as you're probably not going to be eating contaminated birdseed yourself.
Disease: Feeding birds can increase the spread of disease in three ways: by causing them to come in closer contact than they would normally, by causing increased defecation that harbors bacteria that is responsible for numerous diseases, and moldy bread can cause a fatal lung infection that can decimate entire ...
Don't feed birds this spring to slow spread of bird flu
Victoria Hall urged the public to do everything they can to help prevent the gathering of songbirds. Hall says the country is facing an unprecedented outbreak of avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds.
So far in 2022, they've detected the HPAI strain in 3,375 wild birds, with 58 detections in songbirds (see below for a list of species). Latest info about the outbreak. Avian influenza does not affect all types of birds equally.
Regulating Chicken Coop Temperature
If you keep warm weather chickens, the coop should never drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold weather chickens can withstand temperatures around the freezing point, but their surroundings shouldn't drop below freezing on average.
Most common songbirds or other birds found in the yard, like cardinals, robins, sparrows, blue jays, crows or pigeons, do not get infected with the bird flu viruses that can be dangerous to poultry or possibly spread to people.
In most situations, bird feeders can remain up. In instances where waterfowl congregate around bird feeders, it is best to remove them until outbreaks in other parts of the country have subsided. Sanitation – Keep bird feeders and the surrounding area clean.
It's important to know that this bird flu is hard for people to catch. It does not easily infect people. So if you enjoy feeding backyard birds, go ahead. Clean and disinfect bird feeders regularly and wash your hands afterward.
What states have bird flu now?
Officials also confirmed new poultry outbreaks in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana, as well as more positive tests in wild birds. And the World Health Organization (WHO) provided updates on human avian flu cases in Colorado and China.
Black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins and currants, mild grated cheese, mealworms, waxworms, mixes for insectivorous birds, good seed mixtures without loose peanuts, RSPB food bars and summer seed mixture are all good foods to provide.
Fruit Pits and Apple Seeds
But when offered certain fruits with seeds (like apples and pears) and pits (like cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums), birds should never be allowed to eat the seeds and pits, as they contain small amounts of cardio-toxic cyanide.
It's also fine to feed birds popcorn that has been popped. Whether unpopped or popped, popcorn is full of fibre and low in sugar. Therefore, it's a nutritious treat that you can offer to your visiting birds.
Reliably full feeders keep birds visiting frequently because they recognize the feeder as a good food source. A feeder that is irregularly filled will not get as many loyal visitors. Seed will stay fresh if it is eaten more quickly so it does not spoil.