SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) — Bird watchers rejoice! The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today that backyard feeders and baths can be used again starting Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

IDNR says they originally recommended the use of bird feeders and bird baths be stopped through May 31 in response to the highly pathogenic avian influenza in Illinois.

According to a press release, the risk of further disease outbreaks among wild bird populations has been minimized due to the annual spring migration being complete. They say the bird flu has not been detected in songbird species.

“The IDNR would like to thank the public for their assistance and cooperation in potentially reducing the spread of HPAI during this critical time,” said Chris Jacques, the agency’s wildlife disease program manager.

IDNR encourages regular cleaning of bird feeders and bird baths. They say people who keep domestic poultry should remain extra vigilant. Further guidance for poultry owners can be found at the following USDA website: USDA APHIS | Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).