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.