Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (2023)

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (1)

Warning: This website contains videos and images of dead and sick birds

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (2)

Bird flu is currently killing vulnerable and rare wild birds in the UK and worldwide. The disease has spread from Scotland, along the coast of England, reaching Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland.

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (3)

Bird flu, or bird flu, affects poultry and wild birds. As with other viruses, there are many different strains, most of which cause little or no disease in infected wild birds. In contrast, the current outbreak is highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which can cause severe illness and high mortality. This current species is devastating our wild bird populations in the UK from November 2021. It originated in 1996 from poultry farms in China.

How bird flu is spread

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (4)

Bird flu is usually spread from bird to bird through direct or indirect contact with contaminated saliva, nasal secretions or feces, and through predation. There are several ways to spread the disease, including infected poultry, their secretions and excretions, and contaminated objects. Once established in wild birds, it can spread around the world as birds migrate across continents.

Warning: These videos contain images of dead and sick birds

Consequences of bird flu on the soil

Bird Flu Update - A new season for birds

Warning: These videos contain images of dead and sick birds. Last winter the geese at Mersehead were hit en masse by bird flu. One third of the goose population on Spitsbergen died in the Solway. This year, shelter staff are monitoring the birds to see if the disease returns. Good news so far. Colin Bartholomew from the reservation explains more in this video.

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (5)

Bird Flu Update - Geese in Mersehead

Bird Flu Update - Geese in Mersehead

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (6)
(Video) BIRD FLU UPDATE - a new seabird season

Avian flu in Shetland - Kevin's story

Site Manager Kevin Kelly explains how this moving project has affected him and why it's important to act now to protect wild birds as best we can.

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (7)

Bird Flu - the view from Coquet Island

Concerns about seabirds in the UK and around the world are mounting as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to take a devastating toll on wildlife. RSPB CEO Beccy Speight visited Coquet Island in Northumberland to see firsthand the impact it is having there.

Winter birds - dealing with bird flu

Warning: These videos contain images of dead and sick birds. An outbreak of bird flu has killed thousands of geese on the coast of Solway. In this video, Stephen Magee from the RSPB Scotland communications team reflects on what winter visitors like geese mean to us and what practical steps we can take to help them during this difficult time.

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (9)

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Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (15)

The latest wave of avian flu outbreaks is unprecedented – the largest ever in the UK and worldwide – and has killed tens of thousands of birds in the UK alone.

The first signs came when Great Skuas died in the Scottish islands in the summer of 2021. Then, in the winter of 2021/22 in the Solway Firth, avian flu killed a third of the breeding population of Svalbard Barnacle Geese – at least 13,200 birds. The winter of 2022/23 saw heavy losses of up to 5,000 Greenland geese on Islay, as well as hundreds of deaths among swans, gulls and other geese species. We have also seen a significant number of birds of prey testing positive for the virus.

So far, nearly 70 bird species in the UK have tested positive for bird flu, including 20 of the 25 regularly breeding seabird species, as well as geese, ducks, swans and birds of prey such as hawks, hens, magpies, the white-tailed eagle. and Golden Eagle.

Find full information on bird flu in your country and instructions on how to report dead birds here:

(Video) Bird flu in Shetland - Kevin's story

Impact of bird flu on seabirds

Bird Flu (Bird Flu) | The RSPB (16)

The UK is home to internationally important breeding seabird populations. So far, the Great Jager and Gannets have been most affected by bird flu. More than 2,200 deaths from large skuas (11% of the UK and 7% of the world's population) were reported to NatureScot and thousands of dead gannets were recorded on our reserves in 2022.

Just over a quarter of the breeding population of rosy terns has died on Coquet Island off the coast of Northumberland, the only breeding colony of this rare bird in the UK. The Netherlands lost 80% of its brood sandwich population. We will not know the full impact on seabirds until colonies are recorded again in 2023, but already now (May 2023) we are seeing significant outbreaks of Black-headed Gulls in several of our nature reserves.

Seabirds are already under enormous pressure from climate change, lack of prey, mortality from fishing gear entanglement, predation by non-native invasive species on breeding islands and developments along our coasts.

The impact of bird flu could hit them particularly hard, as seabirds are long-lived and take several years to reach breeding age, raising only one or two chicks per year. This means that recovery from the disease will take much longer.

Read our blog

How do I report bird flu?

First,Do not touch any sick or dead bird. When walking your dog, keep it away from infected birds.

  • InEngland, Scotland and Wales, you need theonline reporting systemor call the Defra Helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find dead wild birds.
  • InNorthern Ireland, if you find dead waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds such as seagulls or birds of prey, report this to the DAERA helpline on 0300 200 7840. If you find other individual dead birds, including garden birds, you do not need to contact the DAERA helpline not to call.

Defra/DAERA are testing some of the birds reported for bird flu - they cannot test them all.If the birds are on an RSPB reserve, also inform reserve staff.

If you find a dead bird of prey and suspect a wildlife crime has been committed, continue to report it to the police andRSPB.

You can now report non-bird deaths in England, Wales and Scotland to help monitor the impact on other wildlife. For more information on notifications in England and Wales, visitthis website. In Scotland, vulnerable terrestrial species (otter, fox, bark, weasel, pine marten) may be named.NatureShotand vulnerable marine mammals (seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises)Marine stranding schedule in Scotland. We are awaiting advice from Northern Ireland on reporting mammals and will update when we have more information.

What is the RSPB doing about it?

We do our best to optimize the outcome for wild birds while protecting the health and well-being of our teams and visitors to our sites. We work to fight bird flu in three main areas: on our stocks, through policy and advocacy, and through our scientific work (for more information, see What are you spending money on to fuel bird flu?).

Where outbreaks have been identified on our farms, we take action to reduce both the nuisance to vulnerable birds and the risks to the public. This may ask the public to keep dogs on a short leash, restrict access to certain areas, or limit certain activities. It is important to keep unnecessary flights between infected birds to a minimum, as energy use can hinder their ability to fight the virus and the extra movement can spread the virus.

Check out ours tooPress releasesfor bird flu.

What do you spend the money from the bird flu appeal on?

- We are funding additional research to understand how seabird populations have been affected, as well as new scientific research that will increase our understanding of the virus and help us tackle it. Learn morehere.

- We have hired additional staff to support our avian flu advocacy work, working with the governments of all four countries and other conservation agencies to ensure that national response plans deliver the best outcome for wild birds - for example: pushing for effective monitoring and research and clear guidelines for carcass disposal.

- We lobby for the need to address the many ongoing threats to our wild birds. This allows us to help strengthen the resilience of wild birds against diseases such as HPAI. For seabirds, this includes ending eel fishing, reducing bycatch and improving marine planning.

- In our inventory, we purchase additional equipment, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), to keep our staff safe and reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

- In some cases we remove dead birds and require funding for the cost of removal at suitable facilities.

-We are working with all four statutory conservation agencies to improve monitoring and reporting of bird flu impacts.

- We are working with BirdLife partners around the world to develop actions to tackle bird flu.


What does the RSPB do with gamebird releases?

In August 2022, we applied for suspension of payments for the release of game birds (pheasants, partridges and grebes). This call was not answered. At least 70 released pheasants tested positive for avian flu in 2022 and Defra risk assessmentin this subjectconcluded that there is a high level of transmission from released pheasants to wild birds under multiple scenarios. this year,we renewed our call for a curfewin the context of the ongoing epidemic.

What is the RSPB doing regarding wild bird breeding?

Birding activities in the wild can disturb birds that are sick or dying and are under significant stress. We are working with governments and conservation agencies to talk about stopping wild bird keeping in the context of the avian flu crisis, but there are no clear guidelines on this. Meanwhile, wild birds have introduced voluntary bans in some areas.

What should British governments do?

We call on UK governments to:

- Recognize that HPAI poses a significant threat to wildlife

- Develop a national response plan for HPAI in wild birds in each country of the UK, coordinated between countries to include effective monitoring, surveillance, investigation and reporting systems and clear guidance on carcass collection, virus control and serological analysis

- Build resilience in vulnerable populations, such as seabirds, through species recovery and conservation measures, including closing UK waters to eel fishing. improving biosecurity for our island's seabirds. eliminating seabird deaths from bycatch in fishing gear and ensuring a nature-positive offshore energy transition as defined in ourPowering Healthy Seas-rapport

- Ensure clear and consistent public reporting

- Minimize unnecessary disturbance to wild birds during local HPAI outbreaks

- Increasing research efforts to develop a better understanding of the disease

- Ban on the release of game birds in the context of the ongoing HPAI outbreak

- Ensure that a full wildlife crime investigation continues throughout the outbreak

I seethis weblogfor more information on what UK governments should be doing to help wild birds.

What can I do to help?

It is important to know as much as possible about the spread of the disease. Report any dead or dying birds you find, but steer clear.

Contact your local MP and express your concern about the impact of avian flu on wild bird populations and the need for stronger government responses across the UK. Governments should see bird flu as a wake-up call. It is the latest in a series of problems facing our wildlife and we must do everything we can to build the resilience of species, including seabirds.

Good hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of disease. Clean the bird feeders and feeding stations weekly and regularly change the drinking and bathing water of the birds.

Keep dogs on a short lead when visiting our shelters to avoid contact with sick or dead birds and not to disturb resting and breeding birds.

We may close certain parts of our stock for public safety reasons, please pay attention to any signage.
Thoroughly clean footwear between your visits to our shelters and the great outdoors to try and reduce the spread of bird flu.

Can Bird Flu Affect Humans?

Human infections with HPAI are rare worldwide and the risk to the health of the general public is low.

However, some strains of the virus, such as H5N1 or H7N9, have been linked to human disease. Therefore, we do not recommend that people have close contact with sick or injured birds. Of all reported cases of the current strain in humans around the world, nearly all cases have been associated with extremely close contact with infected birds or infected facilities and occur primarily in poultry workers.

Close contact includes touching infected birds. contact with feces or bedding. killing or preparing infected birds for cooking, inhalation of aerosols (e.g. feather dust).

Bird flu is not spread by well-cooked food. Cooked poultry and eggs are safe to eat in areas where outbreaks have occurred. Find more information on the following websites:

UK Health Security Service

health service

World Health Organization

The RSPB supports the UN-backed 'One Health' approach to the management of zoonotic diseases, which supports the combined collaboration between humans, domestic animals and wildlife, and plant and environmental health.

This is emphasized in the recently installed UNKunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Frameworksigned by the United Kingdom.

Are species other than birds affected?

As of 2021, a small number of mammals have tested positive for bird flu in the UK. These include foxes, otters and seals. You can see cases of positive tests in mammalshere. You can now report non-bird deaths in England, Wales and Scotland to help monitor the impact on other wildlife. For more information on notifications in England and Wales, visitthis website. In Scotland, sensitive land species (otter, fox, hare, weasel, pine) can be listed on NatureScot and vulnerable marine mammals (seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises)Marine stranding schedule in Scotland. We are awaiting advice from Northern Ireland on reporting mammals and will update when we have more information.

For marine mammals, the threat of bird flu adds to the existing pressures these species face, including climate change, food availability and bycatch/entanglement. The approach focuses on testing as a warning system for agriculture rather than as a way to treat the disease as a threat to wildlife.

Why does the RSPB not collect dead birds on reserves?

In most cases, we do not collect dead birds unless their location poses a significant risk to public health. This is because handling dead or dying birds poses a health risk to our employees. Removing dead birds can also lead to disturbance and aimless flight among birds. Unnecessary bird movements consume energy that the birds must conserve to be more resistant to disease. Their movement can also spread the disease further.

Disposal of dead birds is also an important issue as they are covered by animal by-products legislation (due to the risk to public health) which means they must be taken to an approved facility for disposal.

This is a difficult balancing act and local reservists are constantly monitoring the situation. For some species and situations, the conservation benefit may be to remove birds to prevent spread. We are urgently seeking further research and advice from the UK Government on this and may change our approach.

(Video) BIRD FLU UPDATE - Controlling the Spread

What Are the Symptoms of Bird Flu?

The main symptoms of bird flu in birds (including one or a combination of the following symptoms) are:

swollen head; closed and too moist eyes. non-response; incoordination and loss of balance, tremors. wing beat and/or leg drag. turning of the head and neck. bleeding on the stems of the legs and under the skin of the neck; breathing difficulties such as sneezing or wheezing. discolored or loose watery stools;

Some species (e.g. ducks and geese) may show minimal clinical signs.

One of the main signs of an outbreak is a sudden and rapid increase in the number of dead birds.

Is it safe to feed the birds?

It is very unlikely that avian influenza can be transmitted to humans through eating garden birds, as these species are currently considered to be of low risk in terms of susceptibility to the virus. However, good hygiene at bird feeding stations always makes sense, both for the protection of the birds and for ourselves. This includes regularly cleaning the outside of food bowls with a mild disinfectant, removing old bird food, spacing food bowls as far apart as possible, and washing your hands.Here's our guide to keeping your feeders clean.

The public should avoid feeding ducks, swans, geese and seagulls due to the current outbreak of bird flu in the UK. While backyard birds currently seem relatively unaffected by bird flu, waterfowl and seabirds such as gulls are particularly susceptible to this disease. For example, feeding these birds could encourage them to congregate where they eat and increase the risk of spreading the virus. To protect these species and ourselves and to prevent further spread of the virus, do not feed them at this time. We will review this advice as more information becomes available.

What about the birds that nest around my house and yard?

Active wild bird nests are legally protected. So let the birds continue to breed. It would be an offense to take, destroy or damage an active wild bird's nest and many species that nest near our homes are red-listed and need our help. e.g. Swifts, House Martins and House Sparrows. These species also have a low risk of contracting bird flu. If you are concerned about birds nesting in your area, please contact Defra/DAERA or your local government and a medical professional who can best advise you.

To further minimize the risk, if you see sick or dead birds, do not touch them, their droppings or water nearby and monitor themTips for cleaning bird feeders.

I found a bird that needs help, what can I do?

Current advice is not to touch sick or dead wild birds. While the chick may be healthy and has just fallen out of the nest, it's important to confirm that the bird needs help first, for the bird's and your own safety. If the bird needs rescuing and the only way to help is to lift the bird, make sure you wear impermeable gloves to handle the bird. You should also wash your hands thoroughly immediately after handling the bird. If the baby bird is some sort of duck, goose, swan, gull or bird of prey, seek advice from the RSPCA/SSPCA/USPCA or a local shelter and do not touch the bird before seeking advice.

What if I need to remove a dead wild bird from my garden?

If you need to remove a dead wild bird from your garden, follow the UK Government's advice on this matter:




Northern Ireland

Is it safe to visit the countryside?

The British government has made it clear that there is no need to close off rural areas in the event of a bird flu outbreak.

If there is an outbreak in a domestic poultry unit or other premises, the UK government initiates a contingency plan to prevent further spread of the infection. This includes establishing special protection and surveillance zones around the outbreak. This will help contain the outbreak and you won't have to avoid visiting the wider countryside.

Since visitors are not currently near birds in our reserves, there is no increased risk of disease transmission to humans, no biosecurity or increased risk of bird disturbance by keeping our reserves open. When there are outbreaks of certain birds near public areas/pathways, these areas may be closed off. We also advise the public not to feed ducks, swans and geese. The situation is different for breeding seabird colonies in the summer and we can then make different decisions at some locations.

Useful external links

Bird Protection International

Government updates

(Video) Bird flu in Scotland - update

Statementby the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Joint Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds


How many birds have been euthanized because of the bird flu? ›

Since early 2022, more than 49 million birds in 46 states have either died as a result of bird flu virus infection or have been culled (killed) due to exposure to infected birds.

Is there a solution to bird flu? ›

CDC currently recommends treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor for human infection with avian influenza A viruses.

Should I stop feeding birds because of avian flu? ›

However, feeding and providing water to wild birds is generally discouraged because the increased congregation of wild birds at bird feeders and bird baths may lead to fecal contamination of the local environment, which can aid in disease transmission.

Should I be worried about H5N1? ›

Smith:: H5N1 has a very high fatality rate in humans, so it has consistently been considered a top pandemic threat. Since 1996, H5N1 has been commonly found in poultry across Asia.

What is the bird survival rate of bird flu? ›

HPAI A(H5) or A(H7) virus infections can cause disease that affects multiple internal organs with mortality up to 90% to 100% in chickens, often within 48 hours.

What was the fatality rate of the bird flu? ›

As of 24 April 2023, a total of 244 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus have been reported from four countries within the Western Pacific Region since January 2003 (Table 1). Of these cases, 136 were fatal, resulting in a case fatality rate (CFR) of 56%.

What cleaner kills avian flu? ›

Chlorine bleach solutions, household ammonia, iodine-containing solutions, and dilute acids are a good way to kill the viruses.

How do backyard chickens get bird flu? ›

people are potential sources for introducing the disease to domestic birds. Avian influenza viruses can be moved in manure; on egg flats, crates, or other farming materials and equipment; and even by people who may have inadvertently picked the virus up on their clothing, shoes, or hands.

Is bird flu still a danger? ›

It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry in the United States. Learn more. CDC does not currently recommend any travel restrictions related to bird flu to countries affected by bird flu in poultry or people.

Is it safe to fill bird feeders now? ›

That means there is currently low risk of an outbreak among wild songbirds, and no official recommendation to take down feeders unless you also keep domestic poultry, according to the National Wildlife Disease Program.

Do hummingbirds carry avian flu? ›

According to Dr. Victoria Hall of the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, hummingbird feeders are not without risk when it comes to spreading disease. They do, however, pose a lower risk than general feeders as there are limited groups of birds visiting them.

Is it illegal to feed birds in Canada? ›

Fine for feeding wildlife

Anyone feeding wildlife, including coyotes, birds, rodents, squirrels, and raccoons may be subject to a fine of $500. This also applies to all parks and beaches in Vancouver.

Can dogs get bird flu? ›

Bird flu viruses have in the past been known to sometimes infect mammals that eat (presumably infected) birds or poultry, including but not limited to wild animals, such as seals, bears, foxes, skunks; farmed mink; stray or domestic animals, such cats and dogs; and zoo animals, such as tigers and leopards.

Who is most at risk for bird flu? ›

In some cases, bird flu can cause serious complications and death. As with seasonal flu, some people are at higher risk for serious illness. They include pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and adults 65 and older.

Is bird flu in eggs? ›

prepared and cooked poultry and eggs are safe to eat. The chance of infected poultry or eggs entering the food chain is extremely low because of the rapid onset of symptoms in poultry as well as the safeguards USDA has in place, which include testing of flocks, and Federal inspection programs.

What are the first signs of bird flu? ›

The main symptoms of bird flu can appear very quickly and include:
  • a very high temperature or feeling hot or shivery.
  • aching muscles.
  • headache.
  • a cough or shortness of breath.

Can sparrows have bird flu? ›

Most common songbirds or other birds found in the yard, like cardinals, robins, sparrows, blue jays, crows or pigeons, do not get infected with the bird flu viruses that can be dangerous to poultry or possibly spread to people.

How do you know if a wild bird has bird flu? ›

Signs of Avian Flu Illness in Birds Sudden death; lack of energy, appetite and coordination; purple discoloration and/or swelling of various body parts; diarrhea; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; and reduced egg production and/or abnormal eggs.

How severe is bird flu in humans? ›

Although avian (bird) influenza (flu) A viruses usually do not infect people, there have been some rare cases of human infection with these viruses. Illness in humans from bird flu virus infections have ranged in severity from no symptoms or mild illness to severe disease that resulted in death.

What was the worst year for bird flu? ›

United States 2014–15 outbreak

From 2014 through 2015, United States poultry and egg producers experienced the largest outbreak of H5N2 in recorded history with approximately 51 million birds depopulated to control the spread of the disease.

How long is avian flu contagious? ›

H5N1 has the ability to survive for extended periods of time. Birds infected with H5N1 continue to release the virus in feces and saliva for as long as 10 days. Touching contaminated surfaces can spread the infection.

What to avoid in bird flu? ›

Do not visit poultry farms, bird markets, or other places where live poultry are raised, kept, or sold, if possible. Do not eat raw or undercooked poultry products and wash your hands after touching uncooked poultry. Practice good hygiene and cleanliness. Visit a doctor if you become sick during or after travel.

What is the herbal medicine for bird flu? ›

Avian influenza: Five best natural cures for bird flu!
  • Turmeric. Turmeric is considered as an effective remedy for colds and flu, including bird flu. ...
  • Garlic. Garlic is another potent natural remedy that can fight against infections effectively. ...
  • Green tea. ...
  • Astragalus. ...
  • Olive leaf extract.
Oct 26, 2016

Can avian influenza survive freezing? ›

Virus Survival and Destruction • Avian flu virus survives indefinitely while frozen and remains infectious. Cook all poultry products to a minimum temperature of 165°F throughout to destroy the virus.

Do Blue Jays carry avian flu? ›

Most common songbirds or other birds found in the yard, like cardinals, robins, sparrows, blue jays, crows, or pigeons, do not usually carry bird flu viruses that are dangerous to poultry or people.

Do I need to worry about bird flu with my backyard chickens? ›

Bird flu viruses can spread easily between birds. Some of these viruses can cause serious illness and death in domestic poultry (like chickens, ducks, and turkeys).

Can you eat chickens with bird flu? ›

Avian flu is not a foodborne illness, which means you cannot contract it from eating poultry that has been cooked properly. And in the event a flock does test positive, it will not enter the food chain. But as always, you should follow proper handling and cooking when preparing raw chicken.

Can you get bird flu from touching a bird? ›

Human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred most often after unprotected contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with bird flu viruses. However, some infections have been identified where direct contact with infected birds or their environment was not known to have occurred.

Can a human get sick from bird flu? ›

Direct infection can occur from exposure to saliva, mucous, or feces from infected birds. Bird flu infections among people are rare; however, human infections can happen when enough virus gets into a person's eyes, nose, or mouth, or is inhaled.

Can bird flu do to humans? ›

Bird flu in humans can cause a range of serious and potentially fatal complications, including: eye infections. pneumonia, including viral pneumonia. acute respiratory distress.

Should I empty my bird feeders? ›

Leave Feeders Empty For A Few Days

Not only does this encourage birds to go elsewhere but it also takes away a valuable source of food that your backyard birds depend on. So why is leaving feeders empty for a few days before refilling them fine? First, birds will not starve.

Where should you not put a bird feeder? ›

Bird feeders are best hung in a place where your visiting birds feel safe from predators. Most important: Avoid open and noisy areas and hang your bird feeders at eye level or a little above. Do not hang feeders too close to any place where squirrels can jump on them, or too low they are within a cat's reach.

Do wild birds recognize humans who feed them? ›

With that said, birds remember human kindness and learn to associate you with it, and they don't forget reliable food and water sources. So, if you are regularly filling your feeders and baths, the birds will use them and learn that you are the one providing them with the food when they see you doing so.

Can backyard birds get bird flu? ›

Most wild birds infected with bird flu viruses are asymptomatic (i.e., do not exhibit signs or symptoms of illness). Some bird flu viruses can infect domestic poultry and other domestic and backyard birds, and outbreaks of bird flu in domestic poultry occur worldwide.

Should you take down hummingbird feeders? ›

A: You can leave your feeders out for as long as you have hummingbirds around. You can even continue to provide the feeder after your hummingbirds disappear—late migrants or out-of-range species can show up into early winter. Follow the guidelines for keeping the feeders clean, even if the nectar goes untouched.

Do some birds survive avian flu? ›

Chickens and turkeys will die quickly from the disease. Ducks and geese may recover but then remain carriers and spread the disease.

Is it OK to feed birds in your backyard? ›

Feeding birds in backyards and parks can trigger disease epidemics by attracting high densities of birds, including species that rarely interact in the wild, says Sonia Hernandez, an associate professor of wildlife disease at the University of Georgia. It can also change their behavior.

What birds are not protected in Canada? ›

Nearly all native birds in Canada are protected, even if they don't migrate. The only native species that are excluded are birds of prey (hawks, owls, eagles, falcons), kingfishers, ravens, crows, jays, and three species in the blackbird family (rusty blackbirds, common grackles, and brown‐headed cowbirds).

Should I stop feeding birds in Ontario? ›

Ideally, for outbreaks that occur during the winter/spring leave feeders down until the first warm weather and emergence of insects in the summer; for summer/fall outbreaks it is best to leave feeders down until after the first prolonged period of cold weather and frost of the winter.

How many birds have died from the bird flu in the US? ›

Enjoy a year of unlimited access to The Atlantic—including every story on our site and app, subscriber newsletters, and more. Months later, the bird-flu outbreak continues to rage. An estimated 58.4 million domestic birds have died in the United States alone.

How many birds are killed each year? ›

Collisions. Window strikes – estimated to kill 97 to 976 million birds/year – Millions of houses and buildings, with their billions of windows, pose a significant threat to birds.

What is the number one cause of bird deaths? ›

For instance, habitat loss is thought to pose by far the greatest threat to birds, both directly and indirectly, however, its overall impact on bird populations is very difficult to directly assess.

How many chickens are culled for avian flu? ›

More than 17 million chickens have been culled this season, the highest number on record, NHK reported Tuesday. Prices of eggs are soaring at a supermarket in Osaka on December 2, 2022.

Do hummingbirds carry bird flu? ›

According to Dr. Victoria Hall of the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, hummingbird feeders are not without risk when it comes to spreading disease. They do, however, pose a lower risk than general feeders as there are limited groups of birds visiting them.

Is bird flu in humans fatal? ›

Illnesses in humans from bird flu virus infections have ranged in severity from no symptoms or mild illness (e.g., eye infection, upper respiratory symptoms) to severe disease (e.g., pneumonia) that resulted in death.

Can humans get bird flu? ›

Bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred. The links below offer more information about bird flu. Influenza antiviral drugs can be used to treat influenza infections.

How many birds are killed by running into windows? ›

Birds strike glass because reflective or transparent glass is often invisible to them. It is estimated that between 100 million and 1 billion birds are killed by collisions in the United States alone each year, with an estimated 16 to 42 million fatalities in Canada.

What birds have killed the most humans? ›

Summary Of The Deadliest Birds On Earth
1Australian magpieAustralia
2Harpy EagleSouth America
3LammergeierCentral Asia and Eastern Africa to Spain
3 more rows
Apr 26, 2023

Do birds survive hitting windows? ›

What happens to birds that hit windows? Sadly, the bird often dies, even when it is only temporarily stunned and manages to fly away. Many times these birds die later from internal bleeding or bruising, especially on the brain. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College has researched this issue since the 1970s.

What kills the most birds in Canada? ›

After habitat loss, the single largest source of bird mortality in Canada is domestic and feral cats. On average, cats kill more than 100 million birds each year in Canada.

What is causing the death of birds in Canada? ›

Industrial-scale use of chemical pesticides in agriculture and forestry pose a major contemporary threat to a large number of bird species in Canada.. These poisons kill insects that birds feed on, and plants that birds, or their insect prey, feed and live on.

Are cats the number one killer of birds? ›

Cats #1 Threat to Birds

Predation by domestic cats is the number-one direct, human-caused threat to birds in the United States and Canada. In the United States alone, outdoor cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year.

Can eggs carry bird flu? ›

It is not a blood-borne pathogen; therefore, handling eggs poses a low risk for infection. The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations says that there is no evidence that anyone has been infected with the avian flu by eating properly cooked eggs. Cooking eggs to 160°F (71°C) will kill the avian flu virus.

Can you eat eggs from chickens with bird flu? ›

prepared and cooked poultry and eggs are safe to eat. The chance of infected poultry or eggs entering the food chain is extremely low because of the rapid onset of symptoms in poultry as well as the safeguards USDA has in place, which include testing of flocks, and Federal inspection programs.

Can you eat a chicken that had avian flu? ›

Can you eat cooked chickens infected by bird flu? The WHO guidelines have made it clear that it's safe to eat well-cooked poultry and birds, even if they were infected by avian flu. The avian flu virus is sensitive to heat and cooking it thoroughly will kill the virus.


1. BIRD FLU UPDATE - geese at Mersehead
(The RSPB)
2. WINTER WILDFOWL - Dealing with Avian Influenza
(The RSPB)
3. Avian Influenza - The view from Coquet Island
(The RSPB)
4. Avian Influenza in Scotland
(The RSPB)
5. Seabirds Under Pressure
(The RSPB)
6. How Game-Bird Releases Could Spread Avian Flu: RSPB's Warning
(World News Daily)


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