Idaho Department of Fish and Game

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-A suspected salmonella outbreak among wild birds has hit Idaho prompting wildlife managers to ask residents to take down their birdfeeders.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced biologist in northern Idaho received reports in the past several weeks of sick and dying birds and it is believed the outbreak made it to southern Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game said salmonella is usually fatal and common to birds. Birds can be especially susceptible to the illness around birdfeeders place out by people during the winter. The bacteria is spread through the droppings and saliva of sick birds. Outbreaks connected to birdfeeders could cause a high death rate that covers a large area.

Idaho Fish and Game has asked people to stop feeding birds for several weeks and clean the feeders thoroughly to help reduce the transmission of the salmonella.

“We all love to see wild birds come to the feeders in our yards” said Regional Diversity Biologist Lyn Snoddy in a prepared statement, “but at times like this, we all need to collectively do what’s best for our wild bird population by removing and cleaning our feeders for at least a couple of weeks. This short term effort will help stop the suspected spread of salmonellosis in southern Idaho.”

Sick birds with salmonella usually have symptoms of ruffled feathers, lethargy, and diarrhea, and may look emaciated.

For more information, or if you suspect you have sick birds coming into your feeders, please contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.

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