The California Department of Fish and Game is reminding bird lovers to remove feeders from yards for at least one month to help combat salmonellosis.
The bird-killing bacterial disease is spread by pine siskins. The tiny, brown birds live in wooded areas and spread the disease by eating from dirty feeders that contain bird droppings as well as food.
Fish and Game spokesman Patrick Foy says salmonellosis doesn´t usually spread to humans, but can make the family pet ill. Foy says residents can reduce their risk of exposure by donning gloves when cleaning feeders and by using anti-bacterial soap.
Plastic and metal feeders are also recommended because wood feeders can be a breeding ground for the bacteria.