Update, 8/26: It's safe to put the feeders back up.
The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is urging people to take down their bird feeders - and stow away their bird baths - because of a mystery illness that is killing birds across the eastern US that might spread where birds congregate.
Although whatever it is has yet to get to New England, it may only be a matter of time, so better safe than sorry, the division says.
Birds congregating at bird feeders and bird baths can transmit diseases to one another.
The division adds, however, that hummingbird feeders are OK - the smallest of birds seem unaffected so far by the mystery ailment.
In late May, wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. More recently, additional reports have been received from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. While the majority of affected birds are reported to be fledgling common grackles, blue jays, European starlings, and American robins, other species of songbirds have been reported as well. No definitive cause(s) of illness or death have been determined at this time.
State wildlife biologists are also asking for residents to report any unusual bird die offs they spot - and to "include your location, number and species of birds, symptoms observed, and any photos." The division add you don't have to report dead birds that seemed to have gotten that way because they flew into glass or were attacked by cats.
In Arlington, VA, people began noticing lots of dead and sick birds in May:
Dead birds have become an eerily common sight along local roads and sidewalks, and a common discussion thread in local Nextdoor groups.
Pennsylvania and Delaware are also on alert. So is New Jersey.