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Life's Better
South Carolina Department
of Natural Resources

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Bird feeders can be put back up if Pine Siskins aren't visiting your yard

April 1, 2021

Photo: ©Lucas Bobay (Cornell Lab)

Photo: ©Lucas Bobay (Cornell Lab)

A few weeks ago, SCDNR recommended for South Carolinians to clean and take down their seed and suet bird feeders until early April after a widespread disease outbreak was seen across the country.

As Pine Siskins migrate north, those who took down their feeders can put them back up if you don't notice any Pine Siskins in your yard. Once you put your feeders back up, if you notice sick or dead birds, please clean and remove the feeders for at least two weeks.

SCDNR wants to stress the importance of keeping your bird feeder clean, and cleaning it regularly, to help prevent an outbreak like this from happening again. Bacteria, and other diseases, are commonly shed by food or water contaminated with feces. Birds tend to congregate at bird feeders and birdbaths, so cleaning them regularly will reduce the spread of disease.

Bird feeders and birdbaths are wonderful ways for people to enjoy and help birds right in their backyards. Unfortunately, keeping bird feeders isn't as easy as just putting one up and making sure it stays filled with food, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. And when outbreaks such as this happen, it's a great reminder of just how important it is to keep feeders and birdbaths clean so birds can continue to thrive in South Carolina.

Remember, if you ever see sick or dead birds around your feeders, remove them for at least two weeks. We appreciate your help with this!