Update on the Unknown Bird Disease

Updated 7/20/21

Mass Audubon is in conversations with MassWildlife and other colleagues about the risk posed to Massachusetts birds by the ongoing avian disease outbreak in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US.

While the disease has not been confirmed in any areas north of New Jersey, out of an abundance of caution Mass Audubon and MassWildlife have decided to recommend taking down bird feeders and birdbaths until the current outbreak is over. Birds can find plenty of natural food and don’t depend on bird feeders, especially during the warm season.

blue jay at feeder
© Lori Lawson

Here’s what to do now:

  • Cease feeding birds (including hummingbirds) until this wildlife morbidity/mortality event subsides.
  • Clean feeders and bird baths with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach mixed with nine parts water), rinse with water, and allow to air-dry.
  • Avoid handling birds unless necessary. If you do handle them, wear disposable gloves and wash hands afterwards.
  • If picking up a dead bird, place an inverted plastic bag over your hand to avoid direct contact with the bird. To dispose of dead birds, place them in a plastic bag, seal, and discard with household trash or alternatively bury them deeply. 
  • Keep pets (including pet birds) away from sick or dead wild birds as a standard precaution.

Bird mortality is always a little higher during the summer, as a good number of fledglings sadly don’t make it past their first few months.

Please email reports to Mass Wildlife via this form and include your location, number and species of birds, symptoms observed, and any photos. We will continue to monitor the situation, so stay tuned for more information as wildlife biologists monitor the current outbreak. 

This entry was posted in Birds & Birding on by .

About William Freedberg

Studies indicate that Will Freedberg occupies the ecological niche of a semi-nocturnal generalist. His habits change seasonally, doing fieldwork and bird surveys in the summer, but also blogging, coordinating volunteers, taking photos, and doing background research. Life history traits include growing up in Boston and reluctantly graduating from Yale College. Behavioral research shows that William occasionally migrates to the tropics to seek out Hoatzins, pangolins, and sloths, but mostly socializes with his age cohort in urbanized areas of eastern North America. He is short-sighted, slow to react, and a poor swimmer.

100 thoughts on “Update on the Unknown Bird Disease

      1. William Freedberg Post author

        It is definitely a hopeful sign. While Connecticut Audubon has reported a few likely cases in CT, the northeast hasn’t seen any significant outbreak so far. We’re optimistic for the moment, and waiting on some news from a meeting between MassWildlife and other state agencies on the subject next week.

        Reply
  1. Bob & Ann Ludwig

    We just found out today about taking down feeders& bird baths. We are very concerned. When did this first happen? We just filled our feeders &cleaned the bird baths. They have constant water moving. We will take all our bird baths & feeders down. We would like to be notified by updates. We were both just saying yesterday why are there so many birds at our feeders & eating like pigs? Well I guess more people knew & about this & we just found out. We will miss our precious babies.
    Thank you for the information If we have any info for you we will let you know ASAP.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Totally understandable! This disease has been a concern in other parts of the country since June. We will post updates here when the coast is clear, and birds will find their way back to your feeders whenever you re-hang them– although sometimes it can take a few days– they don’t know how to hold a grudge, and they take food where they can get it 🙂

      Reply
  2. Lesley Harrison

    Please keep us all updated on this disease. At least I could keep the hummingbird feeders up…now they have to come down as well!!😢

    Reply
  3. Ken

    Bottom line. Stop feeding the birds. As well as the sickness they don’t need our help this time of the year and we only hurt wildlife by giving them commercial food that has been processed. we all like to look at the birds but if we kill them off selfishly what is the point. Bring heartbroken you can’t feed the birds is selfish.

    Reply
  4. Nancy

    Would like an update on this ??? It’s been a few weeks and no other info out from this site or the state ??

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hey Nancy, no news for now. It’s safe to assume that this guideline to stop feeding birds will stick until we post here or MassWildlife posts indicating that it has been lifted. Unfortunately, it could be a matter of weeks or even the rest of the summer. I really wish it were possible to just throw more money or more person-power at figuring out what is causing the illness and how transmissible it is, and I get the sense that wildlife health organizations are working about as hard as they can on it right now. We’re planning to post another update this afternoon.

      Reply
  5. Richard Frank

    The articles that I’ve read all specifically cite Blue Jays, Grackles, Starlings, and Robins as birds that have contracted the illness. None of these birds feed at our feeders. They are specifically designed to discourage larger birds. I did once see a Grackle try to get to the seed, but he, like our squirrels, weighs enough to close the feeder ports. We have few Robins, and the ones I do see are lawn feeders. They don’t even bother with dropped seeds. Here are the birds we are feeding: finches, wrens, chickadees, titmouse(s), cardinals, nuthatch, sparrows. One Downey Woodpecker.

    So, I’d like to better understand why I should stop feeding these birds other than the fact they don’t need me to feed them.

    Reply
    1. Chris

      Because viruses are transmitted on contact. Just because and undesirable bird doesn’t access the feeder doesn’t mean it can’t pass the virus or leave a viral particles on the perch. (remember the whole “coronavirus passed by contact” debate early in the pandemic?) . Claws, feet, and other parts of the bird may carry viral particles which can be left on the feeder when a bird merely attempt to access the feeder. This can happen whether the feeder closes to discourage them or not. And, since we don’t know the route of transmission for this virus, or even what virus we were discussing, you provide an Avenue for infection for any bird species that you actively feed.

      Reply
    2. Joan Milligan

      I was visiting family In Indianapolis and they have lots of bird feeders. We saw a purple house finch with this disease. Both his eyes were totally covered with a Grey/white substance. Looked like spider webs, and his eyes were sunken in. He was totally blind. He didn’t move off the feeder until he felt it move when we went to take it down. He flew into the side of the house and then scrabbled up over the roof. It was so sad. After that we took down all the feeders and emptied the bird bath.
      We reported it to the Indiana DNR. We saw no other birds with the disease.

      Reply
      1. Lisa Barrington

        That’s “Finch eye disease” not this unknown disease which has been said has been affecting Robins, Starlings, Grackles and Blue Jays who all feed at the same yards though not close together which leads people to think it’s poisons or their food source. I constantly checked my Finches’ eyes long before this unknown illness. Washed/bleached my 2 feeders every week, and when it rained. The Sparrows monopolized those two hanging feeders so the Finches didn’t congregate and the Grackles kill them as well as other small birds and fledglings.

        Websites often say to clean feeders once a month but I don’t think that’s adequate and when it rains the seeds get all mushy and eventually moldy.

        Reply
  6. Robin Wilson

    I am just wondering why this isn’t well known news. We feed birds and did not hear about the stop information.
    Shouldn’t this be plastered all over FB. Most of my neighbors also have feeders. We also have Turkey’s dropping in
    to scoff up leftovers. Are they also harmed?

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hey Robin,
      Personally, and outside of my capacities at Mass Audubon, I volunteer as a moderator for the Massachusetts Wildlife Facebook group (unaffiliated with the state agency MassWildlife or with Mass Audubon). I and the other mods are struggling to keep the group from becoming solely about this topic! For a while, we were seeing about a dozen posts a day from people interested in spreading the news, discussing, or asking about it. And in the meantime, it’s been in the news in the Boston Herald, CBS, Patch dot com, WCBV, LiveScience, and other paper & cable outlets.

      No cases have been reported in turkeys so far. The advisory technically goes for all bird-feeding, but I would use your judgement in this case.

      Reply
  7. Denis Jenssen

    Dear William Freedberg,
    Your patient responses to responders’ petulance is saintly! Thank you for it and for Mass Audubon’s intelligent support of the birds.

    Denis Jenssen (a member of your age cohort who experiences similar indignities much to her surprise.)

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Sup Denis! Thanks for the kind words. I think this topic is a good opportunity to talk to people about bird biology and conservation, and hopefully bring more people on board with our mission.

      Reply
      1. Ben Ryterband

        Amen! Informative, patient, and supportive. Many of my friends do no know of this danger to the birds. Wm. Freedberg and his messages deserve a much wider audience.

        Reply
  8. Glow Wilson

    Heartbroken not to be able to have feeders and birdbaths open for business. Any thoughts about all the rain we have been getting… mold/fungus maybe?

    Reply
  9. Stewart Ting Chong

    Bill, this is a thankless task so I wanted to say “Thank You” for ensuring that this, yet unknown disease, cause and cure, remains elusive.

    We should all play a responsible and active role in helping to stop the spread to prevent any devastating impact to various bird species.

    Reply
  10. JoEllen Reino

    Why is no one mentioning all of the lawn chemicals that people use as a possible factor in this? Many of the birds mentioned walk across the poisoned grass and eat insects that have been affected by these chemicals. I would think that might weaken their immune systems. Maybe people should stop using these landscaping chemicals as well as taking down their birdfeeders. Well, I think they should stop using them anyway, but I just wonder why it isn’t mentioned in general as a possible factor.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      So far, all evidence points to a pathogen and not an environmental/dietary factor. Wildlife medicine isn’t an area we focus on, but we understand from veterinary experts working on this down south that the affected birds often have eye infections– which can only be caused by a pathogen, not by chemically tainted seed.
      Certain industrial pesticides are proven to affect birds’ health– but not through immune suppression (=some are toxic, but none are known to make birds more vulnerable to infections). Most of the backyard treatments people spray on their lawns and gardens don’t affect birds directly (when used correctly), but they absolutely can cause declines in the number and diversity of insects that many birds need to survive.

      Reply
      1. Susan Frances Griffin

        What about my bird houses? I have them all along my property. Should I remove them? Just to comment, my backyard is so quiet, but I can hear them off in the woods behind my house. Missing feeding the birds and Shirley Massachusetts🦉

        Reply
        1. William Freedberg Post author

          This is a great question. Please leave birdhouses where they are! While birds don’t rely on feeders during the summer, it is totally possible that they are still using cavities to rest in or may even still be raising young if they nested late. Birdhouses (or any nesting/roosting cavities) are generally not shared between multiple pairs of birds— unlike feeders, they don’t tend to be places where many birds are congregating

          Reply
        2. Susan Griffin

          Thank you for answering my question. Lots of cool information being shared. Let’s all do what we can to help the birds wildlife and our climate. Enjoy the beautiful Day.

          Reply
  11. Carol

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I just washed our birdbath with a bleach solution and I’ve left it to air dry. Can I refill (and clean it) after it has dried, or should I put the birdbath away? It is very popular with the birds. Thank you!

    Reply
  12. Michael Toler

    Where is the best place to follow news on this topic? I would like to know if a cause is determined, and when I might be able to put the feaders back up.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Check back on our blog, or subscribe to get updates in your inbox– we will definitely post an all-clear when there’s no longer a need for caution. Or check the website of state agency MassWildlife (or follow them on social media) for updates!

      Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hi Merry, it’s best to consult local resources for local information. Check with your state department of fish and wildlife or local Audubon society! We haven’t heard of this disease outbreak being reported near the PNW.

      Reply
    1. Rachel Weiner

      One somewhat knowledgeable person suggested feeding might resume in the fall. However my sense was that this was one individual’s opinion and not backed by any particular evidence. My impression too was that this might be a best case scenario.

      Reply
    2. William Freedberg Post author

      Unfortunately, no. Anything we say would be just an educated guess. Outbreaks of salmonella and conjunctivitis in other parts of the country have lasted a couple of months at a time, but there is nothing yet to suggest that this disease outbreak will follow that pattern.

      Reply
  13. Keith Vega

    Hi, I have signed up for the emails, and I wondered if there would be some type of general announcement when it would be safe to put feeders back up. I have taken mine down and washed them, but obviously I want to put them back up as soon as I can safely do so. Any ideas? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Yes, we’ll post here when the disease outbreak to our south calms down! As of right now, we don’t know when that will be.

      Reply
  14. Kelly

    I have pet chickens and have found a dead blue jay and a dead sparrow where the chickens usually free range. Do you think there is any reason to worry about my chickens?

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hi Kelly,
      So far, there’s no evidence to suggest poultry are at risk. Midsummer is also a time of year when there are a lot of fledgelings and first-year birds around that don’t make it into adulthood, and there are a whole host of other reasons why you might be seeing more bird deaths locally– no cause for alarm at the moment.

      Reply
  15. Carol

    This is so sad! Okay so why is there no research put out on different bird seed? Did I miss anything said as towhere they some purchased seed? Could this be an issue with the quality of bird seed and the origin?! This would be my biggest concern..

    Reply
  16. Kelly

    Any cases of this impacting poultry (like my 15 hens)? I keep seeing “songbirds” referenced. It’s hard to research because it’s new and there is no name for it. TIA.

    Reply
  17. John Jackson

    Filling feeders is a bird lover’s task.
    Please stop, Mass. Audubon did ask.
    Prevent, if you please,
    Unknown avian disease.
    Birds don’t distance, nor do they mask.

    Reply
  18. Lynn R.

    I understand the reason for removing the feeders and birdbaths (their surfaces can get contaminated), but what about ground feeding? I have feeders on my deck and the seed gets tossed onto the grass below where the birds and other critters rummage around for it. After I take my feeders down, could I scatter seed on the ground? I have soooo many juvenile birds this year, I hate to “abandon” them cold turkey. 🙃

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Birds are generally not too careful about defecating far away from where they eat. Another avian disease, salmonella, spread mostly when birdfeeders– especially platform feeders, which birds hop around in while they eat– get contaminated with feces from infected birds. We don’t recommend scattering seeds right now, and we want to emphasize that birds are not limited by food availability in the summer– even in areas where they normally visit feeders. There’s plenty for them to eat. If you do decide to scatter seed anyway, please disperse it as much as you can and try not to cluster birds around one patch of ground.

      Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Birds are generally not too careful about defecating far away from where they eat. Another avian disease, salmonella, spread mostly when birdfeeders– especially platform feeders, which birds hop around in while they eat– get contaminated with feces from infected birds. This is why we don’t recommend scattering seeds on the ground right now, and we want to emphasize that birds are not limited by food availability in the summer– even in areas where they normally visit feeders. There’s plenty for them to eat. If you do decide to scatter seed anyway, please disperse it as much as you can and try not to cluster birds around one patch of ground.

      Reply
      1. Denise

        Thank you for your info. I do try to scatter the seeds as much as possible but if it’s better for them to forage from natural sources, I’ll ease off the seeds. Denise

        Reply
  19. Barry

    So far I have seen no evidence reported that this disease is actually transmitted from bird to bird. If the actual source of the disease is from a natural food source such as cicadas, could we actually be doing more harm by stopping feeders and forcing birds away from safe food in bird feeders? And stopping water in the hot summer months can have adverse consequences. It seems like this advisory is based on the assumption of bird to bird transmission with no facts given to support it. I think they need to think about the law of unintended consequences.

    Reply
  20. Rita Conley

    Hello,
    I am heartbroken over the avian disease and the thought of emptying all of my feeders. I will miss the birds terribly.
    I live on the south shore and we found a dead starling in our backyard on July 15, 2021. It’s body was intact and it was laying in a random spot.

    Reply
    1. Dan Caldemeyer

      This is no update. It is the same old schpeal about not feeding the birds. Ehat we need to know is how many deaths ate related to this diesease and the actual numbers in every area. Up dates are what we got with the covid virus. We knew how many deaths there were in every area
      We dont need daily updates unless it gets really bad. I havent heard of a.y deaths in the Louisville area in 2 weeks from the local news.

      Reply
      1. William Freedberg Post author

        This post updates our initial recommendation to keep bird feeders up, which is no longer advisable as new information has emerged about how quickly this disease is spreading and the magnitude of bird deaths in some areas. No agency or organization has the resources to track the total number of individual bird deaths or report them.

        Reply
    1. Stewart Ting Chong

      This is because news outlets are reporting on an old Mass Wildlife notification. They have since updated the notification and REMOVED the statement about Hummingbird feeders. Please check the original source.

      Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      While the outbreak hasn’t spread to Nantucket as of 7/16, it is probably prudent to take feeders in statewide. Thanks

      Reply
      1. Thomas A Karp

        Hi, I just read “About William Freedberg” very interesting but can William fly? We have removed the bird feeders and await updates. Our new feeder is absolutely squirrel proof, which is amazing. Lots of joy during covid watching the birds. Anxious to feed them all once again. Let us all know soon. Thanks. Tom Karp

        Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      MassWildlife has since removed that sentence. While no cases have been documented so far in hummingbirds, removing hummingbird feeders is a prudent additional step because they can attract other species of birds that occasionally use nectar for a calorie boost, like orioles or woodpeckers. Flowers that hummingbirds feed on are abundant in late summer, and provide food without the shared, nonporous plastic perches that are easier for some pathogens to live on. Planting native, nectar-bearing plants is a great way to keep enjoying hummingbirds that benefit the ecosystem more broadly.

      Reply
      1. Deirdre

        Thank you for pointing this out. We all need to plant for pollinators. See Pollinator Pathways on the web.

        Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hey Gary, while no cases have been documented so far in hummingbirds, removing hummingbird feeders is a prudent additional step because they can attract other species of birds that occasionally use nectar for a calorie boost, like orioles or woodpeckers. Flowers that hummingbirds feed on are abundant in late summer, and provide food without the shared, nonporous plastic perches that are easier for some pathogens to live on. Planting native, nectar-bearing plants is a great way to keep enjoying hummingbirds that benefit the ecosystem more broadly.

      Reply
  21. Owlprower73

    I wish the main stream box stores, local hardware and garden stores etc. would stay informed and had efforts in place to keep their customers informed as well. By providing them resources to educate themselves. Or at the very least putting up some signs in the bird departments when stuff like this is going on, informing the less connected people on the matter. Or better yet, remove the seed from the shelves until the threat is over. I also don’t think a lot of people even know that feeders and baths should be cleaned. Or even if bird seed companies would stay kn alert and put out word to all the customers they sell too so they can spread the word on down the line until the news hits the customer. I would t be surprised if some immune issues and diseases come from some of the cheap or spoiled bird seed out there available to people at discount markets etc.

    Reply
  22. AnnMarie

    might be a silly question but in reading the article it doesn’t say why to remove feeders. is it quarantine birds to no be close to each other like humans with corvid? or is is something in the feed itself ? Thank you in advance for the reply.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Not a silly question at all! Some germs spread through contaminated surfaces, and we know birds can get salmonella from one another by sharing the same perches and eating from the same ports at feeders. This is also why it’s important to wash your hands with soap and water after touching a birdfeeder (unless you just cleaned it) or after handling a bird (which we recommend you avoid anyway!)

      Reply
  23. Stewart Ting Chong

    According to the initial notice from Mass Wildlife, it stated that Hummingbird feeders could be left up HOWEVER this has since been removed so I assume that, yes, hummingbird feeders need to be taken down as well.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hi Irene, you can email [email protected] about this. If you click on the blue text where it says “Please report any unusual bird deaths to Mass Audubon or Mass Wildlife” that will also pull up the right email address.

      Reply
  24. Esther

    I think the risks to local bird populations who have been attracted to bird seed, suet and other items (e.g., fruit) at local feeders, by abruptly taking ALL of them down during nesting and fledgling season, is being downplayed. The impact could be dying birds or weakened populations, more likely to contract diseases (impact). I do not know the probability. I looked for research last night and while I found nothing that would help understand the potential effects of this wholesale change to their environment, there were a number of articles said don’t worry if your feeder goes empty, the birds will just go to a neighbor, and then talked about how feeder fed birds become dependent (my word) on seeds and might have trouble adapting back to other foods. (Some House Finch beaks have changed shape to accommodate sunflower seeds!) There will be no other feeders if this is done. Another article on how migration ranges have been extended, possibly due to back yard feeders, etc. All implying dependency. I understand that we might have a hard choice between two bad things, if the illness is in MA and is spread from bird to bird, but glossing over the risk to local populations of abruptly taking down all of the bird feeders in mid-July doesn’t help.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      I agree. There has been no evidence so far to show it is transmitted from bird to bird. And the fact it is so far specific to a few species seems to indicate a food borne source. Robins don’t come to feeders. How does removing feeders help? All the species listed so far are insect eaters.

      Reply
    2. William Freedberg Post author

      Thanks for sharing these thoughts. For perspective, even seed-eating birds like Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays raise their nestlings almost entirely on foods found in the wild– mostly on insects. There is consensus among wildlife biologists that birds don’t rely on feeders during the summer, when there is an abundance of natural food even for birds that mostly eat seeds like house finches. As for range expansion, while there is some evidence that feeders have made it possible for a few southern species to expand their ranges northward by helping them weather the winter, July is not the month these birds are struggling to adapt to conditions in Massachusetts.

      For these and other reasons, some state agencies like MassWildlife have gone as far as to recommend that the public not feed birds in the warm season at all.

      Reply
      1. ESTHER

        Can you cite me some online references along these lines to put my mind at rest? Thats what I was looking for and I told you what I found. Articles/research however tenuous, that supports my understanding that when you feed birds, you need to make a commitment for the season. They depend on you. Whether or not feeding in Sumner is a good idea is irrelevant. It’s mid July and that decision was made months ago now.

        Reply
    3. Katwyn

      I agree, Esther! I’d like to see some concrete data, some facts, before taking such extreme action.

      Reply
  25. Ben

    Will take down the feeders and wash the areas where there was feeding. As lack of luck would have it, I had purchased new food just days before the warnings. I assume that any seed barrels that have been among the birds in the last day or two should be disposed of? Also, assuming this also applies to hummingbird feeders?
    Hoping to hear from this blog and from Mass Audubon later in the year (?) if there is any indication that the disease has stalled or become far less of a threat.
    Farewell chickadees, titmice, cardinals, goldfinches, bluejays, red-wings,… Sigh.

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      The birds will come back to your feeder as soon as you hang it back up when we get the all-clear! We will definitely post after the epidemic has passed. It is probably the right move to chuck out any seed that has been in physical contact with wild birds.

      As for hummingbirds: While no cases have been documented so far in hummingbirds, removing hummingbird feeders is a prudent additional step because they can attract other species of birds that occasionally use nectar for a calorie boost, like orioles or woodpeckers. Flowers that hummingbirds feed on are abundant in late summer, and provide food without the shared, nonporous plastic perches that are easier for some pathogens to live on. Planting native, nectar-bearing plants is a great way to keep enjoying hummingbirds that benefit the ecosystem more broadly.

      Reply
    1. Stewart Chong

      According to the initial Mass Wildlife notice, they stated that Hummingbird feeders can remain up however this has now been removed!
      Bit.ly/bird-illness

      Reply
    2. William Freedberg Post author

      Hi Jim, while initially some agencies and orgs were recommending that hummingbird feeders be left up, we think that removing hummingbird feeders is a prudent additional step. Hummingbird feeders can attract other species that occasionally use nectar for a calorie boost, like orioles or woodpeckers. Flowers that hummingbirds feed on are abundant in late summer, and provide food without the shared, nonporous plastic perches that are easier for some pathogens to live on. Planting native, nectar-bearing plants is a great way to keep enjoying hummingbirds that benefit the ecosystem more broadly.

      Reply
  26. Rachel Weiner

    It would be helpful if Mass Audubon would put this information in the emails that are sent regularly to ensure people are aware of the recommendation to remove feeders and baths.

    Reply
  27. Martha Rounds

    A question several of us in our neighborhood have:

    Does this prohibition on bird feeders also apply to himmingbird feeders? Or can/should we continue to feed hummingbirds?

    I hope you can reply to this question! I am NOT a robot. 🙂

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Hi Martha, the recommendation to take feeders in does apply to hummingbirds as well. Thanks for asking!

      Reply
      1. Jim Rennie

        William, thanks for the information and your patience in answering all of our concerns. While my wife and I enjoy all of the birds that visit our feeders, and will miss them when we take the the feeders down ( including humming bird feeders), we are confident that when the virus runs its course the birds will return. Thank you again.

        Reply
  28. Sarah

    A question I can not find an answer to – Does this apply to Hummingbird (nectar) feeders as well as seed feeders? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. William Freedberg Post author

      Removing hummingbird feeders is a prudent additional step. Even though no cases have been reported in hummingbirds yet, nectar feeders can attract other species of birds that occasionally use nectar for a calorie boost, like orioles or woodpeckers. Flowers that hummingbirds feed on are abundant in late summer, and provide food without the shared, nonporous plastic perches that are easier for some pathogens to live on. Planting native, nectar-bearing plants is a great way to keep enjoying hummingbirds that benefit the ecosystem more broadly.

      Reply

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