Our pandemic isn’t over. But North Carolina songbirds have missed the worst of a disease that plagued birds across the U.S.
Well, at least one epidemic seems to be over in NC.
An outbreak of a “mysterious disease” affecting blue jays, robins, grackles and other large songbirds is now waning across the mid-Atlantic and mid-Western US, NC Wildlife Resources Commission said this week. And it appears to have largely spared NC, a prime bird-watching state.
We know North Carolina. Subscribe to the free Cardinal & Pine newsletter.
The disease, which began just a couple of months after the COVID-19 pandemic, first swells and encrusts the eyes of infected birds US, officials said, then causes tremors, severe neurological issues, and death.
The cause is unknown.
While this disease has mostly missed NC, other avian illnesses are still prevalent and should be monitored, officials said.
Avian conjunctivitis and salmonella poisoning are commonly illnesses picked up in and around bird feeders – so if you have a feeder, you should clean it properly to stop the spread.
It’s kind of like wearing your mask and getting vaccinated. Small efforts can save lives: You don’t clean the feeder for yourself, you clean it for the other bird.
Well, actually you should also clean it for yourself because humans can get salmonella poisoning from contaminated bird feeders too, and salmonella brings with it severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain, so, you know, you don’t want that.
For that reason, you should never clean or fill a bird feeder in the same area you make your own meals, health and wildlife officials say, but you should clean the feeders every two weeks.
Not sure how to go about cleaning a bird feeder?
The NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s here for you:
- Remove all remaining seed and scrub off any debris.
- Soak the feeder in a bleach solution of one-part household bleach to nine-parts water for 10 minutes.
- Dry the feeder completely before refilling.
- Hummingbird feeders should be sanitized at least once a week, and more often in wet or humid conditions.
- If sick or dead birds are found near the area and contact the NC Wildlife Helpline for further instructions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., at 866-318-2401 or email anytime at [email protected].
- If you handle a deceased bird, wear gloves or use an inverted plastic bag. Dispose of the bird in a sealed bag in the household trash or bury it deeply. Keep pets, including pet birds, and children away from sick or dead wild birds.
Robinson, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ remarks, revived the 2016 'bathroom bill' idea that sparked a public outcry and cost the state billions of...
Robinson’s new remarks are just the latest in a long and well-documented anti-abortion record that includes support for a complete abortion ban,...
Jason Dunkin lives out in the country on the same small plot of land he grew up on. When I met him at his house recently, the rain was beating down...
Vanessa Infanzon, Good Info News Wire Five notable billionaires reside in NC's Research Triangle Park, an area that includes Chapel Hill, Durham,...