Bird lovers asked to remove feeders over Salmonella outbreak

·1 min read

The BC SPCA is asking bird lovers and observers to remove their backyard bird feeders to help stop the spread of a Salmonella outbreak that is spreading throughout the province.

Clinical signs of Salmonella in birds typically includes ruffled feathers, lethargy, irritation around the eyes and diarrhea, although a bird may not have any symptoms and still be infected and continue to spread the bacteria.

People are being asked to bring in their feeders for at least 14 days to reduce transmission and infection.

“2021 has gotten off to a rough start for pine siskins on southern Vancouver Island and the rest of the province with a deadly outbreak of salmonella,” said Andrea Wallace, manager of wild animal welfare.

“Salmonella is a severe and contagious disease so we’re asking people to temporarily remove, or at the very least clean, their bird feeders and bird baths to prevent further spread of the disease.”

It is recommended that bird feeders be cleaned once per week with soap and water and a 10% bleach solution (nine parts water, one part bleach); discard any uneaten feed and only fill with fresh seed.

The SPCA also recommends that, with the exception of hummingbird feeders, bird feeders should only be put out between October and March, as during the spring and summer months birds have access to plenty of natural food.

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald