The Illinois Department of Natural Resources late last week issued updated public recommendations on the avian flu affecting wild birds. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or HPAI is ravishing the bird community right now and the IDNR is asking that bird feeders and bird baths not be used until May 31st or until HPAI infections go down. During Spring, wild birds will have good food sources, while bird feeders are removed. IDNR Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program Manager Chris Jacques says this is being done in an abundance of caution.
Jacques says to stop feeding the birds and clean the feeders.
If five or more deceased wild birds are observed in one area, an IDNR wildlife biologist should be notified. Contact information can be found at www.wildlifeillinois.org. USDA Wildlife Services can also be called at 1-866-487-3297.
When disposing of deceased birds, wear rubber gloves and a mask. Double-bag the carcass and bury it away from scavengers, or place it in a sealed garbage can. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands and any other clothing or tools with soap and water. For more information visit www.aphis.usda.gov.