The Wild Bird Feeding Institute is working with leading experts to keep our members informed about issues that may affect the hobby of bird feeding. The health and safety of wildlife are our primary concerns, and we have been closely monitoring the Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5) viruses that have been detected in U.S. wild aquatic birds, commercial poultry, and backyard or hobbyist flocks beginning in January 2022. Download WBFI’s press release here from April 1, 2022.
News outlets have now picked up the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota’s Facebook post encouraging hobbyists to take feeders down. Dr. Victoria Hall has agreed to meet with WBFI staff to ensure we are helping the birds as best as we can during this challenging time and providing accurate, scientific information to our members and consumers. Until then, here is what WBFI knows so far:
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States
- Right now, the United States Department of Agriculture reports that “Removing backyard feeders is not something the USDA specifically recommends preventing avian influenza unless you also take care of poultry.
- WBFI recommends looking at the CDC’s map of commercial outbreaks to consider whether feeders in the area should be taken down temporarily due to outbreaks and to take down if there is backyard poultry in the same area as feeders.
- If members or hobbyists have questions about if their area is experiencing an avian flu outbreak contact their local or state wildlife department to see if taking their feeder down is recommended.
- WBFI encourages any bird feeding hobbyists that have seen corvids, waterfowl, waterbirds, shorebirds, and birds of prey visiting near their feeders frequently to remove them temporarily or if you have reported HPAI outbreaks near you. See trackers below for the most recent stats on outbreaks:
- Hobbyists should ALWAYS use best feeding practices and clean feeders, birdbaths, and around feeding areas regularly to help stop the spread of diseases in birds.
- Please encourage hobbyists to visit https://www.wbfi.org/feedsmart/ for resources and more information on how to utilize best bird feeding practices.
We will stay on top of the situation, and we pledge to keep you informed of any developments of concern. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.