A few months ago, there was widespread concern over avian flu infecting birds across the country.

Some sources warned against keeping bird feeders up and filled in order to stem the spread of the illness. Research has shown, however, that less than 2% of birds that feed from backyard feeders have contracted the illness that has affected birds across the continent.

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Adobe Stock

It turns out there is a very low risk for songbirds and other avian species that would feed in your backyard.

Waterfowl and other wild birds have been infected as well as a good portion of the domestic poultry population, according to a published report by the Cornel Laboratory of Ornithology website.

They also cite that there has only been one case of bird-to-human transmission.

Some experts say it's good to feed the birds in fall and winter, even though some are concerned about migratory birds becoming dependent on the feeders and they may interrupt their migration patterns.

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Adobe Stock

According to Joan Cassanova of the Green Earth Media Group, migratory birds are in no danger of changing their feeding habits by stopping by your place for a snack.

Plus, local native birds will appreciate the free meal in winter when natural food is scarce.

Some people love to observe the different types of birds that come into their property to use their feeders.

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Adobe Stock

As with many things that are originally reported as bad or dangerous, upon further study it turns out not to be the case.

I haven't taken down my feeder and you should do as you see fit for the birds and your own environment.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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The bass are biting in New Jersey fresh waters

Starting in mid to late May the largemouth bass started biting on my favorite lake. I finally got a chance to get out and see how good the fishing is this year and it didn't take long to catch. I got two bass in the first 10 minutes on the lake. We used to fish exclusively with live bait, either worms, nightcrawlers (the bigger worms), or minnows. That got too easy and it's not what "real" fishermen do.

It's more of a sport if you fool the fish into biting your hook with the right lure and the proper presentation. You have to figure out what they would be feeding on that time of year, pick a lure that resembles that and finesse it in a way that makes it look enticing to the fish. To most people, this is a stupid waste of time, but to those of us who caught the fishing bug as a kid or an adult, it's almost addictive. OK, it is addictive.

Most people look at a body of water such as a pond, lake, river, or stream and admire it for its natural beauty. Fishermen try to figure out what kind of fish are below the surface and what would be the best spot to catch them. If you have small kids and you know how to fish, you can create amazing memories and give a great lesson on nature. My dad and my uncles did that for me and those of some of the best memories of my childhood.

There are so many different kinds of fish and fishing in New Jersey's fresh waters. We usually think of fishing at the Jersey Shore, but there are plenty of fishing opportunities not far from where you live. Make sure you know a few simple rules and ask a local tackle shop for some good advice on what to buy and where to go, and you're good to go. It's a great way to enjoy the diversity of landscapes we have here and challenge yourself a little.

I challenged myself for the first time this season to try and catch a few bass on Thursday afternoon right before the rain and thunderstorms and had success right away in one of my favorite fishing holes in Medford.

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