can you put bird feeders out again

Read more stories about birds

Here are some more tales about the avian creatures we enjoy observing in our backyards and beyond, ranging from hummingbirds to cardinals, bird feeders to bird flu.

Agriculture officials warned many people not to hang bird feeders in their backyards when the highly contagious and deadly strain of avian flu known as High Path Avian Influenza, or HPAI, caused problems in North Carolina and across the country last spring.

This spring, the USDA still classifies the outbreak as “widespread” among wild birds, but as long as you don’t own poultry, officials say it is OK to once again hang the birdfeeder and clean out the bird bath.

But it’s still important to follow certain precautions. These are the best ways to protect birds and people alike.

A: It seems that avian influenza virus infection is comparatively uncommon in songbirds, which includes many common backyard birds. But it’s generally not a good idea to feed or water wild birds because their increased presence at bird baths and feeders can contaminate the surrounding area with their feces, which can spread disease. Even though most songbird species don’t seem to be at high risk from avian influenza, there are other more prevalent illnesses that occasionally affect wild birds, like avian pox and avian trichomonosis, which can lead to higher mortality rates during outbreaks. If at all possible, landscape with native plants to provide natural sources of food for birds instead of giving them bird seed. Wild birds and pollinators like bees and butterflies will benefit from this.

If you decide to have bird baths and feeders, it is usually advised that you clean them thoroughly outside at least once a week, and more frequently if the birds use them frequently. Hands should be thoroughly cleaned after handling bird baths and feeders, and disposable gloves should be worn. Please be aware that not even the most thorough cleaning will completely stop the spread of disease because some pathogens can remain in water, on surfaces, or in soil for hours or days. It is highly advised to avoid having bird feeders and bird baths and to keep wild birds away from chicken feed and water if you have backyard hens or other captive birds in the area, such as ducks, geese, pigeons, doves, and parrots.

A: There are currently three formats available for CDFW’s Hunter Education course: traditional, hybrid, and online. The traditional and hybrid courses include in-person instruction and testing. The instructor will give a card-style hunter education certificate to those who successfully finish one of these courses. After completing the online-only course, you can print a paper certificate. Whichever course format you finish, you can also purchase a Hunter Education certificate on durable license paper by logging in, choosing “Purchase Licenses,” then selecting “Hunter Education,” and finally selecting “Hunter Education Certificate (Dup)” on CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services webpage. Please visit CDFW’s California Hunter Education website for more details on both basic and advanced hunter education programs.

Bird feeder cleaning and safety

▪ The NCDA recommends cleaning hummingbird feeders at least twice a week.

“These birds may be less of a risk to attract wild birds because of the nature of their diet, which is nectar,” Overton stated.

“Hummingbirds have not been reported to have contracted high path avian influenza.” ”.

▪ Maintain feeder cleanliness: Make sure to adhere to NC Wildlife’s advice to clean seed feeders and bird baths with a diluted bleach solution at least once every two weeks. Rise and allow to air dry completely before refilling.

▪ Practice personal hygiene when dealing with your backyard feeders.

“Avian influenza is a serious issue, and it is a growing concern. It does not necessarily mean you should not feed birds, but it does mean taking precautions for your own hygiene,” said Andrew Farnsworth, a senior research associate with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

For instance, refraining from touching your nose and face both before and after handling feeders, as well as routinely cleaning feeders ”.


Is it OK to put bird feeders back up?

However, removing backyard feeders is not somethings USDA specifically recommends to prevent avian influenza unless you also take care of poultry. People who care for poultry should prevent contact between wild birds and poultry by removing sources of food, water, and shelter that attract wild birds.

When can you put bird feeders back out?

Some people prefer not to feed birds in the spring and summer when there is abundant food. However, leaving your feeders up year-round is not a problem as long as you keep a few things in mind: If bears live near you, you should not keep feeders up during the warmer months.

Is it safe to have bird feeders out now?

However, feeding and providing water to wild birds is generally discouraged because the increased congregation of wild birds at bird feeders and bird baths may lead to fecal contamination of the local environment, which can aid in disease transmission.

How do I get birds to come back to my feeder?

To really attract birds to your yard, try leveling up your daily menu. A mix of foods–like black oil sunflower seeds, sugar water, suet, and fresh fruit like oranges–will help entice a variety of bird species, from blue jays to hummingbirds, to your garden.