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Wildlife agency asks S.C. residents to take down bird feeders for now

Fish and wildlife officials are recommending that residents take down their backyard bird...
Fish and wildlife officials are recommending that residents take down their backyard bird feeders or clean them frequently.(Idaho Department of Fish and Game)
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 10:07 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina residents are asked to take down their bird feeders until early spring after an increase in mortality reports for certain species, officials said.

According to information from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the agency has gotten an increase in mortality reports for Pine Siskins and other species.

While Pine Siskins are more susceptible than other species to getting sick from dirty bird feeders, there has been an increase in the number of reports SCDNR has received from across the state in the last several weeks, a press release stated.

Officials said those who have bird feeders should take them down until early April, when Pine Siskins have begun to migrate north.

The department stresses that temporarily removing bird feeders from yards will not prevent wild birds from returning after the feeder is put back up.

“While many South Carolinians enjoy feeding wild birds, those who have bird feeders must ensure their bird feeders stay clean. Without adequate care, bird feeders can harm, rather than benefit, the local bird population,” the SCDNR release stated. “Dirty feeders can harbor spoiled feed, seed hulls, and waste which can become a source of bacteria, mold, and transmissible diseases between birds.

Tips on proper bird feeder care can be found here.

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