CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) issued public guidance Thursday recommending state residents not use bird feeders or baths through the end of May due to an avian flu outbreak.
The guidance comes as the outbreak is impacting both wild and domestic bird species.
The IDNR says to cease using bird feeders and baths through May 31 until the avian flu infections subside.
State officials say wild birds will have plenty of food sources this spring while bird feeders are removed.
The IDNR also issued these recommendations:
- Clean and rinse bird feeders and baths with a diluted bleach solution (nine parts water to one part bleach) and put away or clean weekly if they can’t be moved away from birds.
- Remove any bird seed at the base of bird feeders to discourage large gatherings of birds or other wildlife.
- Avoid feeding wild birds in close proximity to domestic flocks.
The IDNR says if five or more dead wild birds are observed in one location, a wildlife biologist should be contacted at 1-866-487-3297 or HERE.
State officials also say any dead or sick bald eagles found should be reported to the IDNR.
When disposing of any dead wild birds, state officials recommend wearing rubber gloves and a mask, and the carcass should be double bagged in sealed plastic bags. The bags can be buried or placed in the garbage if allowed by the local waste service provider.
After disposal, you should thoroughly wash your hands and any clothes or tools you used.
The first case of avian flu in Illinois was reported on March 10, 2022, in wild Canada geese. Cases have turned up in Champaign, Fulton, Sangamon, Will and Cook counties.
Wild birds impacted by the outbreak include waterfowl and waterbird species, as well as some raptors, including bald eagles. Domestic poultry flocks have also been impacted.
For more information, visit HERE.