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Entries Tagged as 'bird'

DEC: Emptying and Cleaning Feeders and Bird Baths Can Limit Spread of Disease

February 27th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Common Redpolls with Salmonella Frequented Bird Feeders across 13 Counties in 2013

NYSDEC LogoIn January and February 2013, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirmed infections with the bacteria Salmonella in common redpolls that frequented bird feeders across 13 counties*. No confirmed cases have been identified to-date in 2014, however it is the time of year when DEC receives reports of dead common redpolls that became infected with Salmonella at bird feeders. Proper maintenance of bird feeders can help prevent disease transmission, particularly in these late winter months when songbirds are especially vulnerable.

Salmonellosis or “Songbird Fever” is among the most common diseases associated with bird feeders. Outbreaks can affect many bird species including cardinals, goldfinches, sparrows, cowbirds and pine siskins. The bacteria can be shed in the bird’s feces even when the bird appears healthy. Salmonellosis can spread through contact with infected birds, contaminated seed, seed waste on the ground or water in bird baths. It is important to note that salmonellosis is a zoonotic disease and can be spread to both people and domestic animals. Other common songbird diseases that are spread through bird feeders are Mycoplasma Conjunctivitis (an eye infection of House Finches) and Trichomoniasis (an oral parasite of songbirds, pigeons and doves).

A bird feeder surrounded by the various species of birds is a common sight in many residential backyards. Bird feeders can be a safe and enjoyable way to watch birds from the comfort of one’s home but under the right circumstances birdfeeders can also be a place where diseases can spread very quickly between birds because of their close contact with each other.

New Yorkers can help curtail the spread of disease in songbirds by emptying and cleaning feeders and bird baths with hot soapy water at least every two weeks. It is also a good idea to soak feeders in a dilute 10 percent bleach solution and allow them to dry before re-hanging them. Waste seed on the ground beneath feeders should be cleaned up and discarded. Spreading feeders out and relocating feeders periodically can also limit the build-up of waste. Practice good hygiene when cleaning feeders and bird baths by wearing gloves to handle seed waste and washing hands after performing maintenance. If you observe multiple sick or dead birds at your feeder, please report them to your local DEC office. A list of DEC’s office can be found here: DEC Regional Office Directory

The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Project Feeder Watch has a great deal of helpful information about feeding backyard birds at: Feeding Birds

*(Adirondack Region: Fulton, Herkimer, and Essex Counties)

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11th Annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration

April 22nd, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Paul Smith’s College VIC 31 May – 2 June 2013

Adirondack Bird WatchingThe 11th annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration is scheduled for 31 May – 2 June 2013, at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Paul Smiths, New York. The event will feature field trips to boreal birding hot spots, informative lectures, and workshops. Field trips include: an all-day Birding Across the Adirondacks trip on Friday, plus a selection of half-day field trips on Saturday and Sunday (Birding by Ear at the VIC, Beginner Birder Workshop at the VIC, Bloomingdale Bog, Intervale Lowlands, Little Clear Pond for loons, Madawaska Flow, Spring Pond Bog, and Whiteface Mountain).

The keynote speaker on Friday night is Sara R. Morris, professor of Biology and the Program Coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at Canisius College. Dr. Morris will speak on bird migration. The keynote speaker on Saturday night is Michale Glennon, Coordinator for the Adirondack Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Glennon will speak on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Boreal Bird Project.

Some of the boreal species that participants in the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration hope to find include the Black-backed Woodpecker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Bicknell’s Thrush and a variety of migrating warblers.

The 3,000-acre Paul Smiths VIC contains every habitat type found in the Adirondack Park with the exception of alpine vegetation. Included on the property is a 60-acre marsh, five ponds, several brooks and swamps, bogs, fens, and varied forest types, most notably northern boreal forest. The site includes significant glacial and geological features and provides scenic vistas of Saint Regis Mountain and Jenkins Mountain. The VIC property includes 6 miles of interpretive trails and 8 miles of back country trails for spring, summer, and fall use.

Festival Hours:

Friday, 31 May: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, 1 June: 6:00 AM to 8:30 PM
Sunday, 2 June: 6:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Preregistration is required. Registration opens 1 May 2013.

For more information:

(Photo: Courtesy of ARTC)

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Upstate Snow Goose Hunting Seasons Re-opened

January 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Rulemaking Filed to Allow Hunting
from October 1 through April 15 Annually

NYSDEC LogoState regulations to expand the special snow goose harvest program in New York have been amended to allow hunters to take snow geese during a special harvest program from now through April 15 in upstate New York, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

This special harvest is in addition to the regular hunting season which runs from October 1 through January 15. Previously, the special season would not have opened until March 11. DEC filed a Notice of Emergency Adoption and Proposed Rule Making with the Department of State on January 23, 2013, and the changes took effect immediately.

“Extending the snow geese season is just one more way Governor Cuomo and DEC are working to expand opportunities for New York’s sportsmen and women,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “We encourage the hunting community to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

The expanded special season will increase hunter opportunity to harvest snow geese throughout the winter and early spring, when they are most abundant in New York. The special season was established in 2008 to help reduce environmental damage caused by the overabundance of snow geese in eastern North America. Snow geese are an arctic breeding goose species that reached record high population levels in North America in recent years – from approximately 50,000 birds in the 1960s to more than one million birds in recent years.

Wildlife agencies, ecologists and environmental organizations have expressed concern about the impacts that overabundant snow geese are having on arctic ecosystems, coastal wetlands and agricultural crops. In response to those concerns, federal hunting regulations were liberalized in 2008, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) adopted a conservation order allowing states in the Atlantic Flyway to implement special snow goose harvest programs in addition to its regular hunting seasons. Based on guidance from USFWS, DEC decided to have one continuous season this year.

The special season includes a bag limit of 25 snow geese per day. Hunters are also allowed to use electronic calls and unplugged guns, shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, when no co-occurring open season exists for other migratory waterfowl. The special program does not include Long Island because relatively few snow geese occur in that region of the state during spring.

For more information about hunting snow geese or other migratory game birds in New York, visit the DEC website: Snow Goose Season.

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