[CT Birds] finch disease

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Tue Jul 24 13:05:28 EDT 2012

A couple of guesses, subject to more expert review.

The question may be trying to break the cycle of disease at your location.  Sources for continuing infection would be the sick birds and perhaps feeders or water source, plus whatever other wild reservoirs there are (info., anyone?).

Sick birds that can't be treated -- would it help at least to remove them asap from the area?

Summer feeding break + strong cleaning of feeders, bird bath, &c.  This might help break a link at the site.  I can imagine quick reinfection of feeders if infected birds are around, in ways I think would be reduced among wild food sources.

Given that the outbreak over-wintered, there may be some reservoir where you are, perhaps open to decontamination, if you can find it.

	Good luck!  Ours here in Hamden seem fine now.

On Jul 24, 2012, at 12:50 PM, Beverly Propen wrote:

> Hi Susanne,
> It is very distressing to see that.  I have had outbreaks at my feeders of
> the house finch conjunctivitis.  The disease involves the respiratory
> system (sneezing, coughing, gasping) of the house finch but sometimes
> manifests itself in the outward sign of conjunctivitis....eyes are crusty,
> oozing, sometimes completely shut. Birds then starve because they are blind
> and cannot see food. Your young finches seem to have it, as you described
> them gasping...
> I had brought  a few to Ansonia nature center when I caught them with a
> butterfly net.  They treated the birds with antibiotics.  Some recovered,
> some not.  I was told to bleach the feeders, perches , etc often.  One
> woman told me not to feed the birds at all during the summer months, since
> they have plenty of food.  However, the disease appears in the winter too.
> I was told that I could purchase powdered antibiotics for parakeets (or
> other indoor birds) at pet stores and put it into the birds' outside water
> sources, but that is haphazard at best.  If you caught the bird(s) and were
> able to administer the antibiotics to them as labeled, that is a
> possibility.
> Good luck,
> Bev Propen
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