My wife and I love to watch the birds at our feeders in the backyard. Of course, our little Chihuahua runs them off every time she goes out, but they always come back. But right now the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking you to take down your bird feeders, at least until the start of April. There have been many reports of sick or dead birds at backyard feeders all across Washington State and our neighboring States. The problem is salmonellosis, and it's killing finches and other songbirds. (Pictured above is the American goldfinch, the Washington State bird.) So what do your bird feeders have to do with all of this? No, your feeder isn't the problem, but it's a busy spot and when birds gather together they can spread the disease more easily. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife would like the birds to disperse and forage for their food naturally. That way they don't congregate and spread the disease. If you absolutely, positively don't want to take down your feeder, they ask that you wash it daily with warm, soapy water, then dunk it in a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. Every day. Yeah, no thanks. I'll just wait for the all-clear to put my feeder back up.  You can read more about it in the Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife news release HERE.



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