Avian Influenza in Wild Birds


On April 4, 2022, the CFIA confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI), subtype H5N1, in a poultry flock in the Township of Centre Wellington, Ontario. There have been no human cases of avian influenza resulting from exposure to wild birds in North America.

Feeding Wild Birds in Your Backyard

The use of bird feeders is still safe but they should be removed from areas that are open to poultry and other domestic animals.
To minimize the risk of transmission of HPAI, do not handle or feed any wild bird by hand. Feeding encourages wild birds to congregate around food sources and can increase the probability of transmission among wild birds, both within and among species.

Backyard bird feeders and baths should be cleaned regularly using a weak solution of domestic bleach (10% sodium hypochlorite). Ensure they are well rinsed and dried before re-use. Click here for more information on how to properly clean your birdfeeder.

*If you care for poultry, prevent contact between wild birds and poultry by removing exterior/outdoor sources of food, water and shelter that attract wild birds.

Signs of a sick bird

Do not touch a dead, injured or sick bird.

Signs of avian flu include:

• nervousness, tremors or lack of coordination
• swelling around the head, neck and eyes
• lack of energy or movement
• coughing, gasping for air or sneezing
• diarrhea or
• sudden death

Reporting sick or dead birds

Report sick or dead birds to:

• In Ontario, to the Ontario regional centre of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at (866) 673-4781

More resources from the Government of Canada:
Avian Influenza in Wild Birds
Detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in Canada 2021-2022
A Background of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)