IDNR recommends halt to use of bird feeders, bird
baths through May 31 until spread of avian influenza subsides
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[May 21, 2022]
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
today issued updated public recommendations regarding wild birds and
the EA H5N1 strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
currently impacting some wild and domestic bird species.
While HPAI has not been detected in songbird
species (passerines), IDNR recommends the use of bird feeders and
bird baths cease through May 31, or until HPAI infections in the
Midwest subside, especially those that waterfowl may visit. During
spring, wild birds will have ample food sources while bird feeders
Further IDNR 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.
If five or more deceased wild birds are observed in one location, an
IDNR district wildlife biologist should be contacted. Contact
information for district wildlife biologists can be found at
an-idnr-district-wildlife-biologist/. USDA Wildlife
Services also may be contacted at 1-866-487-3297.
In addition, IDNR requests all occurrences of deceased or sick bald
eagles be reported to the agency.
When disposing of any deceased wild birds, rubber gloves and a mask
should be worn, and the carcass should be double-bagged in sealed
plastic bags. The bags can be buried away from scavengers or placed
in the garbage if approved by the local waste service provider.
Anyone handling deceased birds should thoroughly wash their hands
and any other clothes or tools with soap and water following
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With spring turkey season underway, IDNR
notes that wild turkeys are less likely to contract HPAI given their
behavior and the habitats they occupy. However, turkey hunters can
protect themselves by thoroughly cooking game meat to an internal
temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and implementing other
guidance found here at this link:
IDNR first announced HPAI was detected in wild Canada geese in
Illinois on March 10, 2022, in a joint notice with the Illinois
Department of Agriculture. Since then, wild bird mortality from HPAI
has been confirmed in Champaign, Fulton, Sangamon, and Will counties
with a more recent mortality event of more than 200 birds in Cook
County suspected to be caused from HPAI.
Wild birds impacted include waterfowl and waterbird species, as well
as some raptors, including bald eagles. Detections in domestic
poultry flocks have also occurred.
For more information on the status of HPAI in wild birds and
domestic bird flocks in Illinois and other states, visit
[Illinois Office of Communication and