Raptor Center: Safe to put up bird feeders as bird flu cases drop

Eurasian tree sparrows (Passer montanus) feeding on peanuts and seeds from bird feeder in the snow in winter. (Arterra/Universal Images Group)

After warning residents to not feed birds this spring – due to the concerning rise of bird flu cases – the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota says it is safe to use feeders as cases fall.

In a Facebook post, the center says the risk of Avian flu is low enough that the feeders can once again go up. "With the wild cases of bird flu continuing to decline, we are updating our bird feeder recommendations and believe the risk from Avian Influenza is low enough that feeders can be put out again. We appreciate your help in reducing areas where wild birds congregate to help reduce the spread of this deadly virus."

While feeders may be safe to use, the Raptor Center says it will continue safety protocols at its center to prevent bird flu spread.

"While current numbers are low, we can’t take any risks and expect to see a low number of positive patients throughout the summer," officials write. "We will also continue monitoring and tracking wild cases in case we see a resurgence with the fall migration."