MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State officials say a small number of birds have died from salmonella poisoning.
The DNR says the recent mild weather is to blame -- along with dirty bird feeders where the bacteria have been known to build up.
The DNR says gold-finches and sparrows have been poisoned to death in Crawford and Dodge counties, and some pine siskins have died in Dane County.
The National Wildlife Health Center in Madison says birds are known to carry salmonella bacteria – and the spread it with their feces.
Officials say humans can be poisoned the same way.
The DNR is asking people to clean their backyard bird-feeders on a regular basis during the winter, using 10-percent bleach.
Experts also say you should throw away empty seed hulls – replace water in a bird feeder every couple days when it’s above freezing – and move the feeders from time-to-time, so waste does not accumulate in the same area.