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Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is a big concern, and rightly so. It is highly contagious among birds, specifically domestic poultry, waterfowl, shore birds, and raptors.

Which begs the question: if avian influenza is highly contagious am I at risk of getting it? Probably not. It is very rare to see the transmission of this influenza from birds to humans. But it has been found in mammals that have eaten infected birds, such as bears, red foxes, skunks, and bobcats. So an outbreak of the bird flu within a domestic poultry flock is taken very seriously. You may have noticed when shopping for chicken or eggs at the grocery store that the prices have gone up.

Another question you may be asking is: should I take down my bird feeder during an outbreak to prevent the spread among wild birds? According to the All About Birds article Avian Influenza Outbreak 2022-2023: Should you Take Down Your Bird Feeders?: “Transmission to songbirds and other typical feeder visitors has been low (less than 2% of all cases reported in wild birds), although this may change with increased testing or changes to the virus. That means there is currently low risk of an outbreak among wild songbirds, and no official recommendation to take down feeders unless you also keep domestic poultry, according to the National Wildlife Disease Program.” However, it is recommended that bird feeders be cleaned out regularly to prevent the spread of diseases in general.

For more information about Avian Influenza, check out the article: Avian Influenza Outbreak 2022-2023: Should You Take Down Your Bird Feeders? | All About Birds All About Birds