Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tell Customers To Clean Those Feeders!

Now is the time to make sure your customers are keeping their feeders clean. There are reports around the eastern US of birds, particularly finches, redpolls and siskins showing up dead at feeding stations.

The Washington Post reported that Jim Parkhurst an associate professor of wildlife at Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources said that bird deaths had been reported in Virginia, particularly in the western and southwestern parts of the state. Researchers have reported salmonella-related bird deaths throughout the Southeast. Birds normally carry some salmonella bacteria in their digestive tracks, and periods of stress such as cold weather or food shortages can weaken their systems.

Reports of dead birds are also coming from Wisconsin, Maine, and Minnesota. When dead birds are found at a feeding station, it's impossible to say for sure that the death was due to salmonella without testing. However, given the big finch irruption reported this winter, the melting snow, and the lack of cleaning that happens at feeding stations, it's not a far stretch to speculate that salmonella is the culprit.

It's a good reminder to customers to keep those feeders clean (or at least buy a new feeder if they are not going to clean the old one).

No comments: