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Energy & Environment

Bird Feeding Still Restricted In Two W.Va. Counties

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Eric Douglas
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WVPB
A robin feeds its young. Concerns over the recent bird deaths focus on younger birds.

West Virginia officials say they still haven't discovered why diseased birds were found in the state's Eastern Panhandle but continue to advise people in two counties not to feed birds for now.

Birds shouldn't be fed in Berkeley and Jefferson counties until the problem subsides, the state Division of Natural Resources said Friday. Feeders and bird baths should be cleaned with hot, soapy water and sterilized in 10% bleach solution — one part bleach to nine parts water — rinsed with water and allowed to air dry.

Reports of sick and dead birds have decreased since late July, the agency said. Although a final diagnosis hasn't been made, the division said several pathogens have not been detected, including salmonella, avian influenza and West Nile virus.

The agency recommends not handling birds but wearing disposable gloves if handling is necessary. Keep pets away from sick or dead wild birds as a precaution.

People outside the outbreak area may feed birds but should repair and disinfect their feeders. If sick or dead birds are found near feeders or bird baths, remove the feeder or bath for two weeks and sterilize with a 10% bleach solution, the agency said.

Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned with soap and water and food replaced every few days, the agency said.


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