Friday, 5 November 2010

Trichomonas

Oh bum. It seems to be our week for diseases. As if a major infestation of Honey Fungus were not enough, I have now discovered that a few of our greenfinches are probably infected with the Trichomonas parasite. This nasty little bug has crossed the species barrier from pigeons. Whilst I think this may have been present at Bag End for some months we are only seeing an ill bird occasionally (am kicking myself it has taken this long to realise what it is)

One of the suggestions from expert websites is to stop feeding all birds until all the infected finches have died. This is all very well but what about the dozens of healthy birds who have come to rely upon Bag End as a regular food supply?

After discussion with Richard at Birds' Bistro I've started a regime of cleaning and disinfecting all our feeders every day using Citrox. Am also watering the ground where the feeders are situated. Moving all the feeders is problematic - at present this is the only area in the garden with surrounding tree and shrub cover and with the Sparrowhawk flying through every day, our little visitors need a bit of nearby protection.

4 comments:

  1. That's a blow Bilbo, I hadn't realised there was something like that around. I wouldn't worry about the sparrowhawk and cover, he's a natural predator and has to eat too, and of course he won't take more than one bird at a time and if the birds are sharp they'll avoid him anyway. The disease control is what matters most.

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  2. Thanks Ali. It might not be too bad - I haven't actually seen an ill bird for some time and never a dead one (although there's a lot of places around here a bird could expire and I would never see it).

    Stumbled across a mention of Trichomonas this week and the pictures of the "fluffed up" birds and symptoms are definitely something we've witnessed this summer.

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  3. Ah, but if it never rained we would live in the Deeply Glaciated Valley District - which doesn't have quite the same ring to it!

    Seriously, have got two sets of feeders on the go, one outside and one indoors being washed and prepped for the following day. I reckon I can keep this up for all of November, if at that point I haven't seen any more fluffed up finches I might ease off.

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