What You Need to Know

Wild Birds Unlimited of Granger, IN is closely monitoring the Avian Flu (bird flu) outbreak in the United States. We are committed to keeping you and your family safe and informed about issues that may affect the hobby of bird feeding. Your safety and the health of birds and wildlife are our primary concern. We are actively connected with the proper wild bird and health experts (local, state and national levels) to keep our customers informed of any developments that could affect safe backyard bird feeding practices.

At this point in time, wildlife and health experts say you may continue feeding the birds.

Here are the facts as we know them today:

Since Fall of 2021, a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) has been detected in numerous outbreaks in North America. It is a naturally-occurring virus especially prevalent among wild aquatic birds such as ducks, geese and shorebirds and has been shown to affect commercial and backyard poultry with high mortality.

 However, according to the Cornell University Wildlife Health Lab, “Passerines [song birds] do not seem susceptible to HPAI and are not thought to play a significant role in spreading this virus. We are not recommending removal of bird feeders at this point.”

 And the Institute for Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases at U Penn Vet School states, “According to the USDA, there is no evidence that birdfeeders, or the birds that frequent them, contribute to the spread of HPAI.”

 The US Department of Agriculture further states, “HPAI viruses and the illness they cause are not commonly found in wild birds…removing backyard feeders is not something the USDA specifically recommends to prevent avian influenza unless you also take care of poultry.” Also, the Government of Canada affirms, “The use of bird feeders is still safe but they should be removed from areas that are open to poultry and other domestic animals.”

 In addition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada currently deem H5N1 to be of low human health risk.

 To practice the hobby of bird feeding safely and to ensure the birds’ overall health, it is always recommended you clean your bird feeders regularly with a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water.

As always, please contact us here at the store with any additional questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

The Granger, WBU Team

 

Keeping them clean and healthy all year long: A guide to properly cleaning your bird feeders.

 Keeping your bird feeders clean and sanitized is important for your backyard birds' health. Here is a video with some helpful tips on how you should properly clean your bird feeders. > How to: Bird Feeder Cleaning Video

 

 

**For those requesting local information about the Avian Bird Flu, here is a link for the Indiana DNR site regarding avian bird flu information. Here's some quick information from the site, but we recommend reading the full article.

"AI affects wild and domestic bird species, primarily waterfowl, raptors, and domestic poultry. - Practice proper hygiene and good biosecurity.

If you keep birdfeeders and birdbaths on your property, clean them regularly with hot water and a 10% bleach solution, rinse thoroughly, and then allow bird feeders to completely dry before refilling. Clean up birdseed that has fallen below birdfeeders. Do not feed wild birds, especially waterfowl, near domestic flocks. If you come in contact with any bird that appears unhealthy, wash your hands with soap and water, and change clothing and shoes before coming in contact with a domestic flock or captive birds." Indiana DNR

Click this link for the Indiana DNR Avian Bird Flu article.