Bird Flu Break Out: Should You Remove Your Bird Feeders?

Initially released April 20, 2022. Upgraded July 14, 2022.

Many individuals are worried regarding the 2022 break out of bird flu, or bird influenza, that is impacting residential chicken, waterfowl, raptors, and also some shorebirds in the united state and also Canada. Since the existing pressure (H5N1) triggers hefty losses to chicken, it is described as extremely pathogenic bird flu, or HPAI. Keep in mind that transmission of bird flu from birds to people is really uncommon, according to the Centers for Illness Control Since July 14, a single person has evaluated favorable for bird flu and also established light signs and symptoms, in Colorado.

There has actually been complication regarding whether individuals need to remove their feeders to quit the spread of this illness amongst wild birds. We consulted Dr. Julianna Lenoch, that guides the USDA APHIS National Wild Animals Illness Program, and also we have actually assembled the complying with recaps of bottom lines concerning HPAI, specifically amongst songbirds and also various other feeder site visitors.

Reduced Threat of Bird Influenza to Songbirds

There is presently really reduced threat of an episode amongst wild songbirds, and also no main referral to remove feeders unless you likewise maintain residential chicken, according to the National Wild Animals Illness Program. We do constantly suggest that you tidy bird feeders and also birdbaths routinely as a means to maintain several sort of illness away.

We likewise constantly suggest that you adhere to any kind of suggestions produced by your state federal government, such as the current demand to remove feeders in Illinois We will certainly upgrade this web page as the circumstance establishes.

Exactly how do we understand songbirds go to reduced threat?

  • USDA APHIS has a solid, multiyear monitoring program that consistently examples wild birds, consisting of groups of songbirds (and also various other types such as Rock Pigeons and also Grieving Doves that are usually around people), for the existence of bird flu. Much in 2022, they have actually found the HPAI pressure in 1,826 wild birds, with 41 discoveries in songbirds (see listed below for a checklist of types). Newest details regarding the break out
  • Bird flu does not impact all sorts of birds just as. The “extremely pathogenic” component of the term HPAI refers particularly to the extent of the illness in chicken, not always in various other bird types. Waterfowl usually bring and also send bird influenza, however hardly ever obtain ill from the illness (also from HPAI pressures). Raptors are far more conscious the illness than waterfowl. Residential chicken are exceptionally prone to HPAI and also spread out the illness quickly, causing as much as 100% death of influenced groups.
  • Songbirds are a lot less most likely than waterfowl to agreement bird flu and also much less most likely to drop big quantities of infection, suggesting they do not send the illness quickly. (See Shriner and also Origin 2020 for a thorough testimonial in the journal Infections)
  • According to a different research in the Journal of Wild Animals Illness, “… although passerines and also earthbound wild birds might have a minimal function in the public health of IAV [avian influenza A viruses] when connected with contaminated residential chicken or various other aberrant hosts, there is no proof sustaining their participation as all-natural tanks for IAV.” ( Slusher et al. 2014)
  • For these factors, it is not likely that bird feeders will certainly add to an episode amongst songbirds.
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If songbirds go to reduced threat, why are individuals that maintain chicken recommended to remove their bird feeders?

  • The primary worry about songbirds is the opportunity that an uncommon person could send an infection to chicken. This is a problem since chicken are a lot a lot more prone than songbirds to HPAI.
  • The essential treatment is to maintain songbirds far from chicken; it’s lesser to maintain songbirds far from each various other.
  • If you have a yard chicken group, these are one of the most essential actions to take:
    ( click for complete details on these biosecurity procedures from USDA APHIS).
  • As an additional action, USDA APHIS suggests for chicken proprietors to remove wild bird feeders or maintain them faraway from their restricted group

If you maintain nest boxes:

Bird flu is just hardly ever transferred to people, according to the USDA, however however our NestWatch task constantly recommends excellent health and also extremely suggests that individuals put on non reusable handwear covers and/or clean their hands extensively after inspecting nest boxes. The majority of birds that utilize nest boxes are songbirds, which go to reduced threat for having or sending bird flu. If you check waterfowl or raptor nests (e.g., Timber Duck, Usual Merganser, Canada Goose, American Kestrel, Prevented Owl), we recommend you put on handwear covers, modification or clean handwear covers and also sanitize tools in between nest boxes, put on a mask when cleaning nest boxes, and also transform garments and also shoes prior to seeing any kind of residential chicken.

If you are a wild animals rehabilitator:

Wild animals rehabilitators need to take safety measures when approving ill birds to make sure that they do not accidentally present HPAI to the remainder of their individuals. Right here’s even more support for rehabbers, from USDA APHIS Rehabbers in New York City State are likewise motivated to get in touch with the Cornell Wild animals Health And Wellness Laboratory to find out more.

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What to do if you locate an ill or dead bird:

Stay clear of managing ill or dead birds. Rather, call your state wild animals health and wellness company; they can identify reason of fatality and also send out the bird to the ideal laboratory for screening. In addition, maintain family pets (consisting of pet dog birds) far from ill or dead wild birds.

Added Resources:

Wild bird types with HPAI discoveries in 2022

Upgraded July 14, 2022. Overall variety of discoveries in wild birds: 1,826. See 2022 Discoveries of Extremely Pathogenic Bird Flu in Wild Birds for most current discoveries.


American Crow (19, North Dakota; 1, Michigan; 2, Minnesota; 1, Washington; 6, Wisconsin)
American Robin (1, North Dakota)
Black-billed Magpie (3, Wyoming)
Usual Grackle (1, Montana)
Usual Raven (1, Alaska; 1, Minnesota; 1, Washington; 1, Wisconsin)
Dark-eyed Junco (1, Minnesota)
Fish Crow (1, New York City)
Red-winged Blackbird (1, Michigan)


American Black Duck
American Kestrel
American White Pelican
American Wigeon
Hairless Eagle
Prevented Owl
Black Marauder
Blue-winged Teal
Broad-winged Hawk
Brownish Pelican
Canada Goose
Caspian Tern
Usual Goldeneye
Cooper’s Hawk
Usual Crazy
Usual Tern
Cormorant sp.
Dark-eyed Junco
Double-crested Cormorant
Duck sp.
Eared Grebe
Glaucous Gull
Wonderful Black-backed Gull
Wonderful Blue Heron
Wonderful Horned Owl
Greater White-fronted Goose
Green-winged Teal
Gull sp.
Hawk sp.
Harris’s Hawk
Heron sp.
Herring Gull
Hooded Merganser
Horned Grebe
Chuckling Gull
Lesser Scaup
Merganser sp.
Muscovy Duck
Mute Swan
Neotropic Cormorant
Northern Harrier
Northern Pintail
Northern Shoveler
Owl sp.
Peregrine Falcon
Pheasant sp.
Red-necked Grebe
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-necked Duck
Ross’s Goose
Rough-legged Hawk
Royal Tern
Ruddy Duck
Sabine’s Gull
Sandhill Crane
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Short-billed Gull
Snow Goose
Snowy Egret
Snowy Owl
Swainson’s Hawk
Trumpeter Swan
Expanse Swan
Turkey Marauder
Western Screech-Owl
Wild Turkey
Timber Duck
Timber Stork

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