The avian flu that is also known as bird flu has been detected in Michigan and the Department of Natural Resources is suggesting you not use your bird feeder.

Woodpecker and sparrows on the bird feeder
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What is Bird Flu?

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wildpixel/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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Bird flu is actually called avian influenza. Bird flu is a virus that affects birds and other animals. The virus can cause widespread illness and death among birds. Bird flu usually starts naturally in wild aquatic birds but when the virus spreads to domestic chickens and turkeys they can get wiped out.

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Anthony Lee/Getty Images
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Bird flu doesn't usually affect humans but when it does it can have a high death rate. Once bird flu does get into a human, it can then pass from person to person and that can lead to a pandemic.

DNR Suggests You Take Down Your Bird Feeders

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Suma Hegde/Getty Images/500px
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Why does the DNR want you to take down your bird feeders? Avian influenza in birds works similar to chronic wasting disease in deer where the animals spread the virus by saliva, nasal secretions, and feces of infected animals. Chronic wasting disease is the reason hunters are no longer allowed to bait for deer anymore.

As you can see in the picture above, there are three different types of birds eating simultaneously at one feeder. If just one of these birds has bird flu, it is very easy for several more to get it which means now there are more birds to spread the virus.

When the bird flu is spreading a bird feeder can act as a virus spreading machine. Other animals get in birds feeders like squirrels and other small animals all the way up to bears. So you see just how many animals can be affected by just one bird feeder. Now think about the thousands of birds feeders that are in West Michigan alone and you can see what a problem that could turn into.

The price of eggs and chicken has already risen since poultry farms across the United States have already been infected. So by not putting out bird feeders, you can help keep the spread of bird flu down, especially here in Michigan.

Is Bird Flu in Michigan?

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According to WOOD, bird flu has been detected in Menominee County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Menominee County is located on the bottom peninsula halfway across the lower side of the U.P.

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Anywhere birds congregate, the spread of the bird flu could lead to a problem. Even roadkill can cause problems because vultures, crows, and eagles will gather and it only takes one bird to have it before it can get out of hand.

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James Pintar/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Can you imagine if birds gathered to eat a dead bird who died from bird flu would cause?

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Jerry Ballard/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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If you have chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese you should pay attention on how you feed them and make sure they are in an area where other wild birds cannot come in contact with where they eat.

If you think you have a bird on your property that may have contracted bird flu you need to alert the DNR immediately and most importantly do not touch the bird. we do not want bird flu to pass on to humans.

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