Mysterious Avian Illness and Bird Feeder Update:
Because Onondaga Audubon does not have scientists researching the mysterious bird disease, we have been following the recommendations of federal and local agencies. In New York State, the DEC did not release recommendations on the illness so we have followed federal guidelines from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center which recommended removing feeders and bird baths as a precautionary measure. At this point however, Onondaga Audubon supports people putting feeders back out since the illness has not been suspected in NY and cases appear to be waning in other affected states. We also understand that some people may want to keep feeders down until more is understood about this illness. If you do choose to put your feeders back up, we ask you to please follow these maintenance guidelines:
1. Clean feeders and bird baths with soap and water at least once a week, then disinfect with a 10% bleach solution to prevent potential infectious disease spread between birds and other wildlife.
2. After cleaning, rinse well with water and allow to air-dry.
3. When handling bird feeders and baths be sure to wear disposable gloves and wash your hands when finished.
4. Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.
5. To dispose of dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag and discard with household trash. This will prevent disease transmission to other birds and wildlife.
If you do find multiple deceased birds with potential eye issues on your property within a short time frame, please let us know (OnAudubonCom@gmail.com) and contact Melissa Fadden of the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab (607-253-3134).