As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 14 January 2013

DNR asks public to clean bird feeders


We know it’s important to clean out the refrigerator once in a while, but don’t forget the bird feeder too.

State wildlife officials have confirmed reports of the death or sickness of small numbers of three bird species linked to salmonella poisonings in southern Wisconsin.

That’s prompted the Department of Natural Resources to ask the public to clean backyard bird feeders and keep an eye out for dead birds, since salmonella not only kills birds, but affects humans as well.

The warmer temperatures are producing ideal conditions for bacteria in bird feeders, the DNR says. Salmonella from the feces of birds is known to lurk in dirty bird feeders.

The DNR said that the deaths of a small number of pine siskins in Dane County have been tied to salmonella. Sick goldfinches and sparrows have been reported in Dodge and Crawford counties, as well.

The birds might be more vulnerable due to stress from their migration.

The National Wildlife Health Center said that salmonella bacteria live in the intestines of birds and are passed through feces. The salmonella strain found in birds can also be passed to humans.

Here’s some recommendations from the DNR:

- Clean bird feeders and bird baths regularly with a 10% bleach solution.
- Throw away empty seed hulls near feeders.
- Consider moving feeders occasionally to avoid a buildup of waste in one area.
- Replace water in a bird bath every two or three days
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning a birdbath and bird feeder. 

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/186463361.html

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