The BC SPCA is asking the public to temporarily remove backyard bird feeders and empty birdbaths.
Erin Rogers, Specialist Wild Animal Welfare said they’re seeing cases of a highly pathogenic avian influenza that has been in Canada and there were cases popping up all over the country and confirmed detections in BC so they are asking people to do this to help prevent the spread of the disease.
“We already know that bird feeders can facilitate the spread of the disease just because it encourages these unnatural congregations of birds.” Ryan said, “It can also attract other wildlife including predators and rodents. And we do know that when birds feed on the ground for example if there’s spilled seed, they’re also exposed to droppings that accumulate below a feeder.”
Ryan added that Hummingbird feeders are not without risk but they are a lower risk just because they’re so species-specific and they have a more limited group of birds visiting them.
“This is a good reminder to regularly change the nectar in your Hummingbird feeders and to make sure they’re super clean to prevent other fungal outbreaks that are known to happen with Hummingbird feeders.”
The BC SPCA recommends providing bird feeders in winter between October and March, in the Spring and Summer months there is lots of natural food for birds.
“This disease has been so quickly spreading so we’re obviously taking a precautionary approach that we think is important to take this very easy step to try and help to curb this disease,” Ryan said.