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It's safe to put your bird feeders back up, Audubon says

Good news for people who love thinking up new ways to keep squirrels away from their bird feeders: The Massachusetts Audubon Society says that because we haven't seen any of the mysterious songbird die offs that have plagued other states, it's safe to put birdseed out again.

State wildlife officials had urged bird fans last month to take in their feeders as songbirds died in large quantities in other parts of the eastern US, possibly hit by a virus. But now, Audubon reports:

Based on the absence of confirmed cases of the mysterious avian disease in Massachusetts and declining numbers of cases in states to our south, we are following the lead of our neighbors and recommending it is once again safe to resume bird feeding in Massachusetts.

Still, just in case, practice safe feeding, the society continues:

The cause of this avian disease is still unknown, but we do know that contagious avian diseases can spread at feeders. To protect birds, stay in the habit of cleaning feeders every 2 weeks using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts warm water. Soak the feeder in the solution for a few minutes, rinse, and air dry.

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Comments

After a long war with squirrels emptying my bird feeder, I got a Squirrel Buster. It's not 100% effective, but they have to work really hard for very small returns, so they mostly gave up.

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Voting closed 14

...for bear season.

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Bear season is coming to a close, man. They usually go after bird feeders in the Summer, not the Winter.

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Winter's a while away, man. Bear activity is about to ramp up as they get as fat as they can prior to hibernation.

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It'll be interesting to see if Monsanto is the culprit in the songbird die-off like they were in the massive bee die-off.

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Voting closed 11

My bad.

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Oh goody goody glee! Magoo so very much missed Magoo’s. Chirppity little friend. Hip hip huzzah! Welcome back Magoo’s birdies! Magoo.

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For the life of me, I don't get bird feeders. Birds obviously know how to feed themselves. Always have and always will. Even the Bible knew this in a non-scientific way with "God provides for the birds of the air". It doesn't seem worth the trouble to deal with squirrels and bears and who knows what, just to have a whole bunch of birds cluster around for a few minutes, when those birds would probably be around anyway, feeding themselves naturally.

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Some people simply enjoy seeing or hearing birds outside their window, and bird feeders are one way to ensure that. Dare I say it, it brings them joy.

Don't worry, I don't have any conflict of interest here - we don't have any bird feeders at all and I'm not the hidden mouthpiece of Big Bird Feed. We do have a large Rose of Sharon outside our back porch and it puts out blooms for quite awhile and that is more than enough to attract all sorts of birds, even including hummingbirds.

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just to have a whole bunch of birds cluster around for a few minutes

YMMV, but for us, it's not whole bunch at a time (except for the sparrows), and it's not for a few minutes. We see a variety of birds, one or three at a time, all day long. Sometimes they perch on the feeder and sing to us. Yes, all those birds are "around," but they aren't where we can see them, until they come to the feeder. For instance, you don't usually see cardinals unless you go to wetlands. Birds we can see anyway, like robins, pigeons, and crows, don't use the feeder.

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Voting closed 4