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© 2021Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Join us on the first Monday of the month for our public program!
Eastern Long Island Audubon Society is a Chapter of the National Audubon Society serving the communiites from Patchogue to Montauk along the South Shore of Long Island, including western Riverhead, Brookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton.
Check out our recorded programs on the program page.
The last two Zoom programs were recorded
and are available on our program page.
To feed or not to feed?
We are all concerned about the reported disease that is causing an unidentified disease in birds to the south and west of us. Scientists are working on it, but have not yet determined a cause. We have been getting questions about whether or not all bird feeders need to be taken down. The reality is that birds do not need our seed with all the wealth of summer insects and fruits and seeds that are available. Bird feeders are always more for our viewing pleasure than bird needs. (The exception might be short daylight stormy days in winter when feeders can provide a survival edge for some bird species.)
However, it is also true that parent birds seem to take advantage of the shortcut that bird feeders offer and bring their newly-fledged birds to seed and suet feeders through the midsummer.
ELIAS is following the advice of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Their key points are listed below or read their full statement here:
- The Cornell Lab does not currently recommend taking [bird feeders] down, given the lack of confirmed cases and uncertainty about how the disease is transmitted.
- However, it is fine to take down feeders as an extra precaution if you prefer, since there is plenty of natural food for birds at this time of year.
- It’s always a good idea to keep feeders clean by washing with a dilute bleach solution.
- There have been no confirmed cases of the illness yet in New York state.
- Because of the lack of confirmed cases in New York state, and uncertainty about how the disease is transmitted, the Cornell Lab is not recommending that feeders in New York be taken down at this time. Note that Audubon New York has recommended taking down feeders, and there is no harm in doing that out of an abundance of caution.
- Again, it is always a good idea to regularly clean your feeders.
If and when we receive other information --- we will post if as quickly as possible.