The City of Falls Church issued a statement this week noting that, “under the direction of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Services, the City of Falls Church Animal Control Officer requests that residents and businesses remove and put away bird feeders and bird baths.” The reason given is that “scientists are trying to determine the cause of a large quantity of bird deaths in the area,” and “removing bird feeders and bird baths could prevent birds from congregating, which could prevent more deaths and slow the spread of the mystery illness.”
“Natural food is plentiful this time of year,” said Falls Church Animal Warden Becky Keenan. “With this potential illness going around, birds will be much better off if residents put away their feeders and baths until the issue is solved. Keep your pets away from birds right now, too.”
Bird feeders and bird baths should be cleaned with a 10 percent bleach solution before being placed in storage, Keenan said.
Also, if residents find dead birds they can wear gloves and place them in a plastic bag, and then in the trash. They are urged to report dead or sick birds to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Services.