PLEASE CLEAN YOUR HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS WELL
Humans who feed hummingbirds can be one of the first steps where pathogen transmission can be decreased by instituting proper preventive measures such as diligent hummingbird feeder cleaning. Soaking and scrubbing with a 50/50 vinegar/ water ratio can eliminate molds and bacteria. Also, washing with bleach can help. But rinse well. And using a small brush on the food ports will keep their little bills fresh and clean. Detergents and soaps are not suggested at they leave a residue.
First report of laboratory-diagnosed
avian poxvirus infection in a hummingbird
CHARACTERIZATION OF AVIAN POXVIRUS IN ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (CALYPTE ANNA) IN CALIFORNIA, USA.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases: October 2013, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 978-985.
Loreto A. Godoy, Lisa S. Dalbeck, Lisa A. Tell, Leslie W. Woods, Rita R. Colwell, Barbara Robinson, Susan M. Wethington, Anneke Moresco, Peter R. Woolcock, and Holly B. Ernest (2013)
From the above: “Under natural conditions, most hummingbirds are typically territorial birds living primarily solitary. They depend on flowering resources that are unlikely to act as a source of avian poxvirus infection. Urbanization and the resulting increase in exotic flowers and bird feeding stations have been correlated with higher density and diversity of hummingbirds in urban and suburban areas. Increased hummingbird density might enhance the transmission of avian poxviruses, as has been suggested for other bird species. The presence of cultivated exotic flowers and hummingbird feeders has been associated with changes in Anna's Hummingbird geographic distribution in North America. Bird feeders could increase the fomite risk of pathogen transmission, as has been shown for other bird species.”