DNR: Elkhart County can put out bird feeders again, but not St. Joseph County

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Image by Craig Reynolds from Pixabay

Can you put out your birdfeeders again? The DNR says it depends which side of the county lines you are on.

Hoosier bird-lovers living in 76 of the state’s counties are once again able to resume pouring feed in their birdfeeders, and fighting off the squirrels.

Indiana’s DNR said, however, that residents of 16 counties — including St. Joseph, Lake, Porter and Whitley — are still reporting a concerning number of bird illnesses and deaths, and should continue to keep feeders empty or inside.

The DNR continues to say that there are no signs of any danger to humans associated with the bird illnesses, but the sickness continues to target bird populations in certain areas, and therefore people are discouraged from giving their fine feathered friends a reason to congregate in their backyards.

If you live in a county where bird feeding can resume, you should clean suet and seed feeders at least once every two weeks by scrubbing them with soap and water, followed by a short soak in a 10% bleach solution. They should be thoroughly rinsed and dried before being filled with birdseed. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned at least once a week with a 10% bleach solution and rinsed thoroughly.

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center’s avian disease experts are working to determine the cause of the disease outbreak. If you see a sick or dead bird, you can report it online at the following website:

https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/wildlife-diseases-in-indiana/songbird-deaths/

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