AUBURN (CBS13) — Wildlife officials are urging people to put away their bird feeders due to a salmonellosis outbreak killing many songbirds.

California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife says they’ve been seeing a sharp increase in people finding sick or dead finches at bird feeders. The birds are being found mainly in the Central Coast, Bay Area and Sierra Nevada.

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Lab tests done on the birds have found that Salmonellosis – a disease linked to the Salmonella bacteria – has been causing the illnesses.

One species in particular, the pine siskin finch, has been the most hit by the disease – which often kills most birds within 24 hours of getting infected.

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Wildlife officials say the birds often get infected when eating food, drinking water, or coming into contact with contaminated feces from a previously-infected bird. Oftentimes, officials say Salmonellosis is found in areas with bird feeders and bird baths.

People are now being urged to get rid of their bird feeders to stop the birds from congregating.

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Anyone who sees a dead bird is urged to contact CDFW using their mortality reporting form.