Regardless of how bad individual years are, the Minnesota Department of Health is not as concerned with year-to-year trends as it is concerned with the big picture over time, said agency tick disease specialist Elizabeth Schiffman.
Avian flu has hit wild waterfowl and commercial bird populations hard, but data is thin when it comes to songbird transmissions. Due to that, the University of Minnesota Raptor Center is advising people to take down backyard bird feeders and bird baths while the virus is circulating.
From the column: "The turbulence of the past two years highlights the need to use the best available data to drive results in real time. Only by anticipating the trajectory of future food needs at very local levels can we effectively plan ahead."