Should Minnesotans Be Taking Down Bird Feeders?
With the many reports of avian flu in the state of Minnesota, should we still be filling our bird feeders? The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shared an update on avian influenza on April 15th that answered that question:
Should I take down my bird feeders?
We do not have record of songbirds being affected by the current avian influenza strain at this time. We do encourage you to take down and clean your bird feeders during spring as this helps protect birds against other infections such as salmonella.
So how exactly should we clean bird feeders to keep our feathered friends healthy? Luckily the DNR has tips for that as well.
To clean a bird feeder, use a solution of two ounces of bleach with one gallon of water and scrub the entire surface. Allow the bird feeder to dry in the sun, that will help kill more bacteria. Also, it is always a good idea to clean up all old seeds and hulls on the ground under the feeders.
Avian flu is a real threat to birds in Minnesota. If you come across a bird you suspect may have died of avian influenza, report the finding to the Minnesota DNR at 888-646-6367. DNR biologists may be interested in recording the possible case to track the virus.