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Old Monday 4th January 2010, 21:27   #1
The Valley Walker
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Finch Disease

Hi,

For sometime I have been noticing puffed up birds coming to the feeders. 1st noticed a greenfinch and then goldie & bully. Took the feeders down and cleaned up after reading through some of the threads on here. Left the feeders down for about a week and then replaced - carried on cleaning the feeders, changed the perches on a weekly basis but still seeing puffy birds...there was a bully in today in the snow and they are normally quite alert but I stood in the window and he didn't move just carried on feeding - he did fly off after I made a sudden mvement to go outside though. Also the wife had a greenfinch fly into the patio doors a week a go, he recovered and flew off. I am now getting concerned that the situation is not getting any better? The only thing I am noticing though is a lack of birds to the feeders..in this weather i expect them to be hungry for food (its minus 4/5 here daily atm) but today I had 3/4 Goldies in, the one bully, no greenfinch (although I have seen some in the last few days) and the usual tits, robins, blackies & dunnocks.

Should I take the feeders down all together?
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Old Monday 4th January 2010, 21:51   #2
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I have similar Greenfinch he seems in fair health though, Feeds normally flies etc. But he do'es seem to adopt an eat at all costs approach.

Pretty sure it was nothing i inflicted on him as he arrived in my garden like from the early feeding days he even disappeared for a week or 2 i feared him dead but he turned up a day or so ago.

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Old Monday 4th January 2010, 21:56   #3
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Birds usually puff themselves up in very cold weather it"s there way of keeping warm also they will not jump about to much because they want to conserve valuble energy.Unless you see them struggling to feed with what looks like puffy eyes matted feathers,just looking ill they will prob be ok.Your Bullfinch and Goldfinch look ok to me do not stop feeding as this will do more harm as they need all the help they can get in this weather.As for birds flying into windows I"m afraid they all do that from time to time,try sticking stickers of some sort on your windows to break it up what it is they see the sky reflected in your window and think they are flying into an open space.
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Old Monday 4th January 2010, 22:03   #4
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They might just be puffed up because they're very cold. But if they're flying quite weakly, allowing close approach, seem to be having trouble swallowing (looks wet around the beak) or look obviously ill (eyes closing and small), then you need to take precautions.

Stop feeding for at least 2 weeks, dsinfect your feeders, when you put them back up place them somewhere else completely (at least several yards away). If you still see ill birds, then stop feeding for a month.

You might be worried that they'll be hungry, but by attracting birds to a diseased area you're going to kill them so they need to disperse. Karpman - it doesn't matter if they picked it up in your garden, as they will be spreading it there, and it may have been a different Greenfinch.

This is a serious disease, and has been killing thousands of birds due to concentration of healthy birds with sick ones at feeders.
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Old Monday 4th January 2010, 22:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hectorzaza View Post
do not stop feeding as this will do more harm as they need all the help they can get in this weather.
Totally disagree. They are wild birds and can ultimately look after themselves - no bird is dependent on just one set of feeders. If you suspect disease then that is the most immediate threat to their survival, so let them take their chances at other (safer) food sources. Healthy birds can go as far as France if need be, so they are not reliant on one garden.

You can be quite sure that picking up trichomoniasis from a feeding area where sick birds are coming will kill them, whereas you are much less sure that stopping feeding will kill them. Give them a chance.

Last edited by KnockerNorton : Monday 4th January 2010 at 22:21.
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2010, 12:12   #6
stonechat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hectorzaza View Post
Birds usually puff themselves up in very cold weather it"s there way of keeping warm also they will not jump about to much because they want to conserve valuble energy.Unless you see them struggling to feed with what looks like puffy eyes matted feathers,just looking ill they will prob be ok.Your Bullfinch and Goldfinch look ok to me do not stop feeding as this will do more harm as they need all the help they can get in this weather.[...]
Totaly agree with hectorzaza, the birds on your picture don´t look ill just puffed up.
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Old Tuesday 5th January 2010, 12:32   #7
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If it was trich they do look ill and no go in them and normally they are gunged up around the beak face and chest. We had 5 die last year so I know the look. I think these are probably due to the really cold weather conditions that we are having at the moment. I am sure I would not like to be outside 24/7.

So I would keep feeding.
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