Contaminated bird feeders could be killing some birds

March 10, 2021 GMT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission says that a “concerning number” of goldfinches and pine siskins may have died after being infected with salmonella from bird feeders.

The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that state officials warned that salmonella is often fatal in songbirds that frequent bird feeders.

The group Carolina Waterfowl Rescue added that the disease is typically transmitted “through food or water contaminated with feces.”

The state is urging residents with bird feeders to clean them using a bleach solution that is “no more than 1-part bleach to 9-parts water.” The feeders should also have time to dry before feed is put in them.

But if residents suspect salmonella, they should take the bird feeder down for two to three weeks.

“Even after intensive cleaning, re-contamination commonly occurs where birds are being fed because the disease is shed by feces and some birds are carriers,” the Wildlife Resources Commission said.