Use of bird feeders, baths not recommended according to IDNR

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has released updated public recommendations regarding wild birds and the EA H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that currently affects certain species of birds. wild and domestic birds.

Although HPAI has not been detected in songbird (passerine) species, the IDNR recommends that the use of bird feeders and birdbaths cease until May 31, or until that HPAI infections in the Midwest disappear, especially those that waterfowl may visit.

In the spring, wild birds will have plenty of food sources while bird feeders are removed.

Other IDNR recommendations:

• Clean and rinse feeders and birdbaths with a diluted bleach solution (nine parts water to one part bleach) and store or clean weekly if they cannot be moved away birds.

• Remove all bird seed from the base of feeders to discourage large gatherings of birds or other wildlife.

• Avoid feeding wild birds near domestic flocks.

If five or more dead wild birds are seen at one location, an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist should be contacted. Contact information for District Wildlife Biologists is available at USDA Wildlife Services can also be contacted at 1-866-487-3297.

Additionally, the IDNR requests that all occurrences of dead or sick bald eagles be reported to the agency.

While the spring season turkey is underway IDNR noted that wild turkeys are less likely to contract HPAI because of their behavior and habitat they occupy. However, turkey hunters can protect themselves by thoroughly cooking meat game to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and using other advice found here at this link: / animal_health / 2015 / fsc_hpai_hunters. pdf.

IDNR first announced that HPAI was detected in wild Canada geese in Illinois on March 10, 2022, in a joint advisory with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Since then, wild bird mortality due to HPAI has been confirmed in Champaign, Fulton, Sangamon and Will counties with a more recent mortality event of over 200 birds in Cook County suspected to be caused by the HPAI.

Wild birds affected include waterfowl and aquatic bird species, as well as some raptors, including the bald eagle. Detections in flocks of domestic poultry have also taken place.

For more information on the status of HPAI in wild birds and domestic flocks of birds in Illinois and other states, visit / animalhealth / animal-disease-information / avian / avian- influenza / 2022-hpai and

Copyright 2022 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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