California wildlife officials this year have been urging the public to get rid of their bird baths and feeders.
The reason? Rising concerns that non-native pigeons are spreading an infectious disease (avian trichomoniasis) believed to be killing band-tailed pigeons, the state's only native pigeon species.
Elsewhere, bird flu is a rising concern. The U.S. government this month confirmed a case of bird flu — the H5N2 strain — in Arkansas, noting that the disease is threatening the poultry industry in the Southeast. The H7N9 strain, which may cause illness in humans, was found in Canada earlier this year. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed H5N1 in wild duck in Washington state in January — the nation's first confirmed case in a bird.