Stop! Birds Become Sick Swimming and Sipping in Birdbaths

  • Post published:07/21/2021
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Six birds happily splashing in the birdbath

From our kitchen window we have happily been watching birds splash around in our birdbath. We wash out the birdbath every day,  but we have just gotten bad news from Mass Audubon.

“Mass Audubon is in conversations with MassWildlife and other colleagues about the risk posed to Massachusetts birds by the ongoing avian disease outbreak in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US.

Here’s what to do now:

  • Cease feeding birds (including hummingbirds) until this wildlife morbidity/mortality event subsides.
  • Clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach mixed with nine parts water), rinse with water, and allow to air-dry.
  • Avoid handling birds unless necessary. If you do handle them, wear disposable gloves and wash hands afterwards.
  • If picking up a dead bird, place an inverted plastic bag over your hand to avoid direct contact with the bird. To dispose of dead birds, place them in a plastic bag, seal, and discard with household trash or alternatively bury them deeply.
  • Keep pets (including pet birds) away from sick or dead wild birds as a standard precaution.”

We  love our birds, so we immediately took away our birdbath. We do not want the birds bathing there and possibly dying.

Since that news, and removing the birdbath ,we have have had torrential weather. Our garden is not quite a swamp, but look.

The paths between our raised beds were flooded.
A look at the flood from the shed, and into the Rose Allee. This was one of the worst floods we have had. Over two weeks we have had 13 inches of rain.  We never had so much rain, and so many floods this early  in the summer.
Birds bathing in the rain water. Unfortunately we couldn’t catch the view  of splashing.

The other day I was looking out the window and saw  a number of birds coming to the Rose Allee, walking around in the grass, looking for seeds under the roses – and then – they were bathing in the grass! I never saw such a thing. The rain water was receding and wasn’t very visible in  the overgrown lawn. But the birds were laughing at us. They said they’d show us! They found their own birdbath, and didn’t need us at all.

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