Illinois Says Take Down Bird Feeders/Baths ASAP–Here’s Why
This nasty bird flu, or avian influenza, has killed or forced the destruction of millions of birds around the world, across the United States, and right here in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is focused on stopping it from spreading, especially to songbirds.
There have been reported bird deaths from the avian flu across the state over the last month, but the recent loss of 200 double-crested cormorants near Barrington about a week back is what has seemingly prompted this move by the IDNR.
The Suggested Removal Of Birdfeeders And Birdbaths Isn't A Permanent Thing, According To The IDNR
Just so we're clear, no one is asking anyone to throw out the birdfeeder and the 25 pound sack of bird food in your garage, or to toss the birdbath into the nearest dumpster. The IDNR just wants about a month.
According to a press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, residents are being asked to discontinue the use of bird feeders and baths through May 31. While the strain has not yet been detected in songbird species, the department is still recommending that residents take down bird feeders and bird baths, especially those that waterfowl may visit.
If You're Worried That Your Backyard Birds Might Starve Without Your Birdfeeder, The IDNR Says That They'll Be Fine
As part of their birdfeeder/birdbath takedown recommendation, the IDNR says that food sources for birds are abundant at this time of year, so there's no worries about starvation.
Here's how IDNR says to go about it:
- Clean and rinse bird feeders and birdbaths with a diluted bleach solution (nine parts water to one part bleach), and to put the feeders away until recommendations change
- Remove any bird seed at the base of feeders to discourage large gatherings of birds
- Avoid feeding wild birds in close proximity to domestic flocks