Salmonella is for the Birds!
We love our feathered friends! They provide hours of enjoyment and brighten our windows and yards. For some of us, they may even become like family.
Many are unaware that thousands of birds die every year due to Salmonella and other bird diseases. Experts believe most get infected at dirty bird feeders and bird baths where birds congregate and rapidly transmit to others.
Diseases such as Salmonella spread primarily through contaminated fecal matter from infected birds, and sadly, many die within a day or two of being infected. When an infected bird steps into communal feed it’s a potential contamination occurrence, which can then become a catastrophic disease spreading event for other birds.
Unfortunately, it appears these deadly events are becoming more common not less.
Here are the best tips to protect your birds
1) Regular clean your feeder(s) by sanitizing or disinfecting your feeder(s). Handwashing, unfortunately, does not kill Salmonella and other microbes that are dangerous for birds.
Some new feeders, like ClearView Deluxe, are dishwasher safe. Simply place on the top rack of your dishwasher (by itself without other dishes) and run it on a sanitize cycle every two weeks(at least monthly) or if you ever see a sick bird. Or you can disinfect via a diluted bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach is the recommended formula). It’s a rather unpleasant process, but it is necessary to protect the birds we love.
Here is a YouTube Video with best practices with cleaning your bird feeder using the traditional bleach method. Remember to wash your hands after handling any bird feeder.
2) Replace water from feeders or bird baths every other day (at least weekly).
3) Regularly clean debris from beneath your feeder(s). Some use “Waste Free Seed” to reduce discarded seed husks.
4) Don’t use pesticides. Many birds are insect eaters. If they eat live or dead insects that have been sprayed with insecticide, they will likely die. Let the birds do the work for you organically to keep insects at bay.
What to do if you encounter a sick bird
How do you know if a bird is sick? Below are some signs of a sick bird
‘Fluffed up’ or rumpled appearance
Lethargic and easy to approach
Swollen eyes or membranes
Wet or crusty eye, mouth, or nose discharge
What to do if I find a sick bird? CDC Advice follows:
If you find a sick bird, call your state wildlife agency or wildlife rehabilitator .
If you find a dead bird, check with your state wildlife agency for information about reporting dead birds in your area.
Some state and local agencies collect dead birds to test for diseases.
If your local officials tell you to throw the dead bird away, wear gloves or place a plastic bag over your hand to pick it up. Place the bird in a plastic bag, tie the bag up, and throw it away, following your local officials’ instructions. Some locations may allow dead birds to be disposed of in your regular trash. Wash your hands with soap and water when you are finished.
Thanks for being a concerned and informed birder. Together we can make a difference to save birds lives.
To better protect birds from disease, ClearView was specially designed with birds’ health in mind, and is the first Window Bird Feeder with 4 Layers of Protection for birds’ health. It provides the safest feeding environment available today.
What are the 4 Layers of Protection? See this link for more information on how you can make a difference to protect your feathered friends. 4 Layers of Protection