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Old 08-29-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default CANADA: Parasite infects Atlantic finches

CANADA: Parasite infects Atlantic finches
Last Updated: Friday, August 14, 2009 | 1:53 PM NT
CBC News

Parasite infects Atlantic finches
excerpts from above:
Atlantic Canadians are being asked to keep their bird baths and feeders clean to help prevent the spread of a nasty parasite killing off finches.

The Trichomonas gallinae parasite is deadly to the American goldfinch and the purple finch. Both are common sights near bird baths and feeders in the region during the summer.

The parasite is carried in pigeons and doves, which it does not harm. But a finch sick with the parasite often has ruffled feathers and slow movements. It can also lose its ability to swallow seeds, leading to starvation.
"The bird that's regurgitating the affected seed has to be in close contact with the one that's going to eat that seed," said Forzan.

"That happens around bird feeders; it wouldn't really happen in the wild."

Forzan suggests people keep their bird baths and feeders clean, or remove them altogether if they notice sick or dead finches. Otherwise the problem could get worse.

"This could spread potentially to other kinds of finches and other types of passerine birds, which are basically, you know, the garden feeder birds," she said.

Forzan said the parasite has recently been found in the pine siskin finch.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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We should really all be cleaning and disinfecting our birdfeeders and birdbaths regularly.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:57 PM   #3
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These are very good tips for all of us backyard birders-
Steps to prevent disease in wild birds from feeders:

Avoid concentrating birds spread seed over large area in sun rather than use feeders vary the location
If using feeders or bird baths, clean them at least weekly, sanitizing them using a 10 percent solution of household bleach in water, then letting the feeders completely dry
Cleanup old food around the feeders regularly (prevents disease, development of mold, and eliminates scavengers like mice and rats)
Eliminate bird droppings from around the area (off patios, decks, etc) by scrubing the area with soap and water, then applying a disinfectant. Let the disinfectant sit for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off
Replace wooden feeders with plastic or metal which can be cleaned and sanitized better
Use gloves when handling feeders, and wash hands thoroughly when done
Keep all wild birds away from pet food and water
Do not place feeders where humans will eat, drink or prepare food (near the BBQ or patio furniture)
Report sick or dead birds

"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we have been taught."
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