JAMESTOWN – A group of regional agricultural experts are asking residents to take down their bird feeders as a highly pathogenic avian influenza spreads across the nation and state.
Officials with the Cornell Cooperative Extension say since the beginning of the year, the illness in birds have been identified in over 350 wild birds in 20 states, including New York.
New York specifically has recorded three cases to date in backyard poultry flocks, which resulted in the death of 268 birds.
To help stop the spread within local bird populations, Cornell Cooperative Extension are asking everyone to take down our wild bird feeders.
While this disease is mostly carried by wild waterfowl, research has shown that other wild bird populations can carry it too, especially if they share nesting and feeding grounds with wild waterfowl.
“These populations include perching birds and songbirds,” officials said. “For this reason, we are recommending that folks that feed wild birds should take down their bird feeders until the threat of the disease has passed.”
Officials say it is uncertain as to when it will be safe to put feeders back out, but scientists believe that caseloads should decrease over the summer months. The highest risk of spreading the disease is now, during the spring migration.