Thoughts on Birds and WNV

Rob McNair-Huff rob at
Tue Sep 17 14:46:06 PDT 2002

This is a great topic, and one I would like to see additional information
about as well. From what I have read so far, there is no transmission of
West Nile Virus (WNV) from birds to humans, though I am not sure if it
can pass from bird to bird. It is this latter possibility that could make
birds that use feeders more suceptible to WNV, though it needs to be
noted that WNV is mostly affecting specific species - crows, hawks, owls,
and I believe that is is causing problems with bats as well.

The best thing anyone can do to fight the spread of WNV is to make sure
that there is no puddled water around your property - no buckets or other
containers that hold stagnant water, and make sure that any tarps being
used are not holding water that could be used as a breeding ground for

People should do all that they can to eliminate these artificial mosquito
breeding waters before the public panic caused by WNV results in
widespread spraying, which is my greatest fear aside from worry about
bird species with the virus.

Rob McNair-Huff <mailto:rob at>
White Rabbit Publishing <>
Publisher of Mac Net Journal <>
The Equinox Project <>
Co-author of Insiders Guide to the Olympic Peninsula

>I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or has seen anything written

>specifically on birdfeeding and West Nile Virus. A neighbor is panicking

>about WNV and wants me to take down my birdfeeders and birdbaths. He

>says birds carry WNV so he doesn't want me to attract birds here. It is

>my understanding that the disease does not transmit from bird to bird, or

>bird to human.


>Do we cause any increased risk to birds or humans by feeding birds? Do

>we potentially attract infected birds, which are bitten by mosquitoes

>which then bite and infect other birds or humans? I change my birdbath

>water every 1-2 days so I don't think I have a standing water problem. Do

>we cause any increased risk by providing water to birds?

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