NewsLocal News


Why you should take down your bird feeder (for now)

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 18:31:53-04

JAVA, N.Y. (WKBW) — It's an unusually tense time for bird watchers. Many varieties of songbirds are dying at alarming rates due to neurological issues. The deaths are reported in Mid-Atlantic States and Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"It has not made it to New York thankfully," Tom Kerr with the Buffalo Audubon Society said, "the closest report is in Erie, PA."

Tom Kerr and the Buffalo Audubon Society have been receiving dozens of calls per day with people wondering about the die-off of birds in these states. The Society has been observing the deaths, which is happening most in starlings, grackles, blue jays, and robins.

"If you're a backyard bird watcher these are the birds coming to your backyard," Kerr said.

Even though these deaths are occurring elsewhere, the Audubon Society is still asking for cooperation to prevent a possible local outbreak by avoiding congregation.

"The Audubon Society is advising that we take down our bird feeders until we find out what is causing this or it ends," Kerr said.

This is a precaution, hoping to prevent cases from showing up in New York. Kerr says that there should be no worry about birds starving due to your bird feeder being taken down.

"They'll come to your bird feeder as a supplementary food supply," Kerr said, "but most birds are eating bugs this time of year."

The NYS DEC says roughly two dozen calls have come in reporting dead birds in yards, though they have not confirmed a link between the local birds deaths to those in other states. They are working with wildlife labs at Cornell University in hopes of learning more. Until that information is available, Kerr says people should keep bird feeders indoors and cleaned.

The Buffalo Audubon Society is holding summer camps throughout the entire summer. For more information on those, visit the website here.