Please note: This Avian Influenza outbreak is continuously evolving. Originally published July 26, 2022, updated May 23, 2023. For more information, visit the “Avian Influenza in Wild Birds” webpage published by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The H5N1 subtype of Avian Influenza virus continues to spread across Canada. The birds most at risk include waterfowl, raptors (such as Great Horned Owls, Bald Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks), colonial nesting seabirds (such as Northern Gannets), and domestic poultry. Birds Canada volunteers and supporters can help respond to the ongoing outbreak by following these guidelines:
- Do not feed birds by hand.
- Do not touch sick or dead birds.
- Report sick or dead birds you find (see contact information below).
Is it safe to use a birdfeeder?
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the use of bird feeders is still safe on properties without domestic poultry. Avian Influenza does not affect all bird species in the same way; while it can cause severe illness and death in domestic poultry flocks, it is currently not considered a disease threat to feeder birds.
To help keep feeder birds healthy, clean feeders every two weeks. Scrub and soak feeders with 10% chlorine bleach solution (use one part bleach to nine parts water). Rinse feeders thoroughly and allow to completely dry before refilling.
As we learn more about the spread of Avian Influenza, provincial and territorial governments may issue additional guidance on bird feeding. Watch for information from your provincial/territorial government.
Photo: Kerrie Wilcox
Report sick or dead birds to:
- Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative information line 1-800-567-2033 or by using their online reporting tool.
- In Newfoundland and Labrador, to the Wildlife Emergency Number at (709) 685-7273.
- In Prince Edward Island, to the Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division at (902) 368-4683.
- In Nova Scotia, to the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables at 1-800-565-2224.
- In New Brunswick, to the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development at 1-833-301-0334.
- In Québec, to the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs at 1-877-346-6763.
- In Ontario, to the Ontario regional centre of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at (866) 673-4781.
- In Manitoba, to the Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development 24 hours at 1-800-782-0076.
- In Saskatchewan, to the Ministry of Environment Inquiry Centre at 1-800-567-4224.
- In Alberta, to the Alberta Environment and Parks Office at 310-0000.
- In British Columbia, to the Forest, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development at (250) 751-3234.
More information on Avian Influenza
For more information, visit the “Avian Influenza in Wild Birds” webpage published by Environment and Climate Change Canada, which summarizes information and guidance on Avian Influenza for the public.
More tips for keeping feeder birds healthy
For more tips from Birds Canada, please visit our webpage on “Keeping feeder birds healthy.”