Why are we finding so many dead birds?

A:

I cannot say for certain, but I suspect from my own observations and those of others locally that "last year's" Salmonella outbreak is just continuing. In the past, there would be outbreaks, everyone could take down their feeders for a while and the outbreak would abate. Now it seems like it's just a continuous issue.

By the way, the Salmonella gets passed by contact with waste/excrement on the feeders and many little feet picking it up, carrying it elsewhere, and "sharing it" in feeding flocks and depositing on other feeders and surfaces.

Just because the birds are dying or being found in your yard doesn't mean that the birds are (only) picking up Salmonella on your feeders. We know that our winter songbirds are likely traveling the neighborhood and sharing many people's feeders. This situation provides strong encouragement for each of us to clean our own feeders frequently, such as between fills, and to also encourage our neighbors to do likewise. This CDC page has some good tips for easy disinfection of feeders as well as tips to keep ourselves healthy when disposing of the birds.

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