ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources told people to stop using backyard feeders and baths in April because the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was spreading in the state. They now say outbreaks are less likely now that the spring migration is over. People can start using their backyard bird feeders and baths again.

There have been outbreaks among wild and domesticated bird populations. But the highly pathogenic avian influenza has not been detected in songbird species. You should avoid feeding ducks and geese because the disease is still circulating among these birds. Although, IDNR does not recommend feeding ducks and geese under normal conditions because they can become pests.

Farmers raising poultry should continue to guard against the disease as this strain has wiped out tens of millions of birds. The US Department of Agriculture has outlined ways to prevent it in flocks.