COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently recommended taking down the bird feeder during a nationwide bird flu outbreak as a precaution.

Is that necessary in preventing the spread of the avian flu?

H5N1 has been found in 34 states, including Ohio.

FOX 8 reached out to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) for guidance in Ohio.

ODNR says they have no reason to believe that removing bird feeders is necessary.


Because waterfowl and raptors are the birds most affected by the bird flu and not the kind of birds you find on your feeder.

Birds found in your yard, common songbirds like cardinals, robins, sparrows, blue jays, crows and pigeons don’t usually carry bird flu viruses that are dangerous to poultry or people, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

ODNR says feeders and birdbaths should always be kept clean.

They discourage feeding waterfowl all the time, but especially during the bird flu outbreak.

Ducks, geese and swan are more likely to carry bird flu and can easily spread it to poultry.

More than 35 million commercial or backyard poultry and wild aquatic birds have been affected.

In Ohio, there is one report in Franklin County that affected a non-poultry backyard flock.

As for wild birds, there are 899 total bird flu cases.

2 of those are in Ohio.

In those cases, both of the affected birds were bald eagles, one in Clinton county, the other in Montgomery county.

Bird flu rarely spreads to humans.

There is one confirmed human case in Colorado.

Infected birds can shed avian influenza A viruses in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces.