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Homeowner’s association in Nevada bans bird feeding

According to one community in Nevada, birds aren’t just a terrible nuisance, they’re also a health risk to humans.

The Wingsfield Springs Community Association, a place in which birds have always been important to its identity, has put a ban on feeding birds and allowing them to nest in yards because they say it will increase the chances of getting illnesses.

I say that theory is for the birds!

I am not alone either. An excellent article by Mark Robinson at fact-checked these dubious claims and found they are totally false.

According to the article, the association detailed the potential threats:

“Birds are known to harbor Histoplasma capsulatum and Cryptococcus neoformans; two fungi which can infect humans. They also may harbor a bacterium (Chlamydophila psittaci) which can cause an infection called ornithosis. Birds are also known to carry the West Nile and St. Louis Encephalitis viruses. Ticks and mites, which carry diseases in their own right are also carried by birds and may transmit diseases to humans.”

The association also said wild birds spread salmonella. In general, it is completely inaccurate to say a bird feeder is bad for anything, let alone a human being. Occasionally, if there’s an unkempt bird feeder with seeds everywhere and unwashed droppings, there could be health risks to other birds. However, a common bird feeder will never pose a major risk to humans.

In the article, Robinson points out that although birds can carry West Nile and St. Louis Encephalitis viruses, they can’t transmit them to humans. The only way humans can get the viruses is through mosquito bites. Chlamydophila psittaci, a bacteria that leads to a life-threatening pneumonia, is rare and usually only involves domesticated birds. There are no tick-born or mite-born illnesses in humans and salmonella is more common in pet birds and reptiles than wild birds.

By the end of the article, you see that all the claims from the homeowner’s association bear no truth. In fact, the association is encouraging residents to take down nests near their houses, which is against the law.

All in all, hanging a bird feeder in your yard does not increase the likelihood of someone getting a disease and as long as you keep the area surrounding your feeder tidy, there’s little risk of other birds getting sick.

Hopefully, the association will realize the folly of its ways and no other communities fall for the misinformation about the dangers of bird feeders.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.


  1. our society is getting more anal everyday and find something to complain about…people have been feeding birds for years upon years and now all of a sudden..they have this complaint..amazing how we all survived 50 years ago…pure rubbish

  2. I agree. Some parts of society are becoming too paranoid. They took something as innocent and simple as bird feeding and turned it into this dangerous activity when in reality it’s completely safe.

  3. my manufactured home park just told me to REMOVE MY BIRD SEED FEEDERS. i am fighting this totally through the management of the headquarters of the park. i cannot believe someone is scared of a bird feeder. as if all the butterflies, birds, bees, deer, opossums, squirrels, ants and spiders will DISAPPEAR if i take down my bird feeder. i am HORRIFIED by this.

  4. Good luck Marjie. There’s no reason for you to have to remove your feeders.

  5. I live next door to a wacko who has two bird feeders one that is about 3 feet long. Since I live in a condo the birds sit in my trees in the front and back and just defecate all over my car, driveway and deck. I have taken pictures but it does not phase this woman. When I go to get in my car there is bird crap all over the handles. So don’t tell me that it doesn’t cause problems or sickness. My last association stopped all feeding because a young girl did get histoplasmosis so until you actually experience the situation you can’t being to understand. You and the other bird brains who think that this is not a a problem are dead wrong. Feed them out in the wild.

  6. I have to disagree with the posters who said that there are no risks associated with bird feeders. I was given two bird feeders for Christmas last year, filled them daily and kept them clean, and was hospitalized for three days in April with histoplasmosis. There is no other way I could have caught it. I don’t have a chicken coop, I don’t explore caves, I don’t rehab houses with bird-filled attics. It was the feeders.

  7. thank you. youre not alone. my neighbor has had a bird feeder in the same spot for 20 years two giant tubes. they way they clean up the ground is to run the lawn mower over it. it has caused rats to nest underneath my house. and now the mites of several types. I have been in and out of the doctors office and severely ill. now there oak tree is infected with these mites and I have spent nearly 2,000 dollars trying to keep them out of my house and my trees have to be treated. and the rats carry diseases. I have ask her to move it and she has become real nasty. I hope you feel better soon.

  8. This is why I will never be part of an association. There are often presumptuous idiots in control that are too close-minded.

  9. Sorry but I don’t want bird crap in front of my apartment door and on my car. My neighbor has her feeder in front of my door not hers, which is BS.

  10. When I lived in the country, a woman was feeding the wild birds, which descended onto her house like a cloud, there were hundreds of them because she was increasing their population with a steady food supply.

    Now I live on the first floor of an apartment and my third floor neighbor above me has a blasted feeder which is raining seeds, hulls and droppings down onto my patio. I’ve complained to management but she just sneaks it in and out now, like it’s some priority in her life. She’s making me miserable in the process, I might as well throw out my grill, I won’t be able to use it this summer with garbage falling down on it. I hate my neighbor for putting wildlife that doesn’t need her help ahead of a human being and a neighbor. I’m forced to sweep her mess until my lease runs out, which I just renewed the week before she moved in. I have to actually bag the mess, or the wind will just blow it back onto my patio. I’m considering suing her for littering. In an apartment especially, she is a horrible person to treat me this way over a stupid bird feeder.

  11. Thank you for sharing this info on bird feeding. I live in a mobile home park and a neighbor was concerned about diseases from the birds. I am comforted in knowing that it is safe. I have a tree in my backyard that was void of birds for too long! I enjoy looking out my kitchen window and seeing these beautiful creatures! The rains wash away the bird poop droppings and I clean my feeder every other week to help keep birds healthy as well!

  12. I had bought a real nice bird feeder and someone stole it! I bought another and again someone stole it. So now I have bland looking one and no one stole it…!!
    No one has ever stole anything before this. I hope you win your case!

  13. Yes. Cleaning the fees is good. Also, wash bottom of shoes with same solution upon entering you home. This way you don’t track in any droppings!

  14. Bird feeders should not be where they are a nuisance to your neighbors! Mine is in back yard under a tree away from mine and anyone else’s decks!

  15. I am on your side on that one. The feeder should not be in a place like apartment buildings.

  16. Yes. Cleaning the feeders is mandatory. Use gloves. Also, wash bottom of shoes with same solution upon entering you home. This way you don’t track in any droppings!

  17. I commend the Homeowner’s Association. I acquired histoplasmosis due to all the birds a neighbor’s bird feeders attraxted. Hence, this article is inaccurate.

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