Conservation News

Conservation News

Here's a quick guide resource of the latest news and happenings in the world of conservation. 

An adult Blue Jay sits on a branch in the foreground. In the background is a sapling trunk and green leaves.

Mysterious Bird Disease 

UPDATED September 8, 2021: Many of you have reached out to ask about feeding the birds and we're thrilled to say that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources released an update today saying that it is relatively safe to put feeders back out.
Here is the full statement by our Director of Conservation, Cory: "The Ohio Department of Natural Resources just posted an update about the ongoing bird disease. The good news is that we can now begin feeding birds again! The bad news is that they still do not have a definitive cause for the disease. That being said, ODNR is strict and cautious, so I am confident they are basing this decision on good data.
To reduce the likelihood that the disease reappears or begins to spread again, all feeders must be washed at least weekly with a 10% bleach solution. The suggestions as to how long to soak the feeders varies, but is anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes. The same applies to hummingbird feeders and bird baths. It is also not advised to use wooden feeders, as they are really difficult to clean thoroughly.
This is a good time to purchase new feeders if yours are very old, and to deep clean feeders that are still in good condition.
Background Information
In July, reports of rapidly spreading, often fatal, disease in birds appeared in Ohio. Blue Jays, Grackles, and European Starlings were the first birds reported with the infection, but it has now been seen in several different species. Birds who have been affected have seizures, loss of balance, crusty eyes, and blindness.
Experts recommended that all bird feeders and bird baths be taken down to encourage "social distancing" in birds. Feeders and baths should also be cleaned with a 10% bleach solution.
We removed our feeders and bird baths at the Nature Center to keep our feathered friends healthy and temporarily halted sale of bird seed at our Nature Shop.
We also recommended that homeowners take down their feeders and bird baths temporarily.
If you find a sick or dead bird, please DO NOT handle it. Please report your finding to your state Wildlife Agency (listed below). Please be sure to let them know the species of the bird and when/how/where you found it.
Once we know it's safe to do so, we'll put out our feeders again and resume selling seed. Together, we can all help keep our feathered friends safe and healthy!
Resource Links