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Posts Tagged ‘migratory’

Feeders are an excellent way to enjoy backyard birds, but they need to be kept clean.

Feeders are an excellent way to enjoy backyard birds, but they need to be kept clean.

Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring require a few extra preparations are needed by people who enjoy feeding songbirds.

Many avian diseases can spread through a crowded feeder if it is not kept clean, especially in warm, wet weather. Karen Rowe, Nongame Migratory Bird Program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, says the situation is similar to a cold spreading quickly at a school or office.

“Birds are flocking to feeders, and are in close contact with each other,” Rowe said. “This makes it easy for a virus or bacterial infection to be spread. Many highly contagious, naturally occurring diseases within bird populations also can remain on the feeder itself if it isn’t cleaned properly.”

Concentrations of birds at a feeder can make it easier for diseases to spread if you don't keep the area sanitary.

Concentrations of birds at a feeder can make it easier for diseases to spread if you don’t keep the area sanitary.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, feeders should be washed once to twice a month using a 10 percent bleach solution and room-temperature water. It’s also important to check the birdseed to make sure it is dry and doesn’t contain any mold or mildew. Placing multiple feeders with different types of seeds in the yard also can prevent crowding.

Even the cleanest and most well-maintained feeders can transmit infections from bird-to-bird. According to Rowe, finding a few dead or lethargic songbirds near a feeder within a week shouldn’t be a cause for panic, but it is time to take action. All feeders should be taken down and disinfected with a 10 percent bleach solution. Bird baths also should be emptied and disinfected. The seeds and hulls on the ground also should be raked up, bagged and thrown away.
After disinfection, new food or water shouldn’t be placed in the area for at least 10 to 14 days, so birds will disperse and those that have already been infected won’t continue to spread the disease so rapidly.

“Not feeding the birds for up to two weeks during winter can seem like a drastic step,” Rowe said. “But it is the only way you can be a responsible bird conservationist and prevent the disease from lingering and continuing to infect birds your feeders attract.”

Visit the USGS National Wildlife Health Center’s web page to learn more about feeder-transmitted diseases and how you can prevent them.

Wet, warm springs can cause birdseed to mold and can stress backyard birds, making them more susceptible to disease.

Wet, warm springs can cause birdseed to mold and can stress backyard birds, making them more susceptible to disease.

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Proposed season dates are available for review and comments. Click here to view.

Proposed season dates are available for review and comments. Click here to view.

Although staff recommendations for this year’s waterfowl season dates were formally proposed during the July Commission meeting, public comments prompted the Commission to look into an alternative set of dates for public review.

View proposed season dates and make comments

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The proposed opening date for Arkansas’s 2012 dove season is Sept. 1.

Commissioners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission today discussed dove season, the unofficial opening of Arkansas’s fall hunting season, at its monthly meeting in Stuttgart. Early-season migratory game-bird season selections must be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Aug. 1. Approval for the early seasons will take place during the Commission’s July meeting. Changes from last season are minor.

Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove — Sept. 1-Oct. 25 and Dec. 26-Jan. 9

Teal Season — Sept. 8-23

Rail Season — Sept. 8-Nov. 16

Woodcock Season — Nov. 3-Dec. 17

Common Snipe Season — Nov. 1-Feb. 15

Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen Season — Sept. 1-Nov. 9

Early Canada Goose Season — Sept. 1-15

Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season — Sept. 22-Oct. 1

During Wednesday’s committee meetings, late migratory bird regulation proposals, including potential WMA regulation changes, were discussed. The Regulations Committee accepted the recommendations of AGFC staff to discontinue regulation exceptions that had allowed leaving decoys overnight and possessing permanent blinds on three WMAs. These proposals will be discussed at the July Commission meeting with final approval at the Commission’s August meeting.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Approved policy revisions for the agency’s state record fish.
  • Approved a list of Commission committees and chairmen for the coming fiscal year.
  • Approved the AGFC budget for fiscal year 2012-13, totaling $72,950,869.
  • Approved a budget increase of $90,349 for purchase of office furniture, temporary rent and moving expenses for the new AGFC Jonesboro Regional Office.
  • Elected Ron Pierce of Mountain Home chairman of the Commission to replace George Dunklin Jr. Dunklin’s term on the Commission ends June 30. Rick Watkins of Little Rock was elected vice chairman.
  • Passed a minute order requesting that AGFC Director Loren Hitchcock postpone his June 30 retirement effective date and continue as the agency director until the search and hiring process for a new director has been completed.

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