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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

What is wrong with this cardinal? (1 Viewer)

mira87

New member
Since early January or even December, I've seen a female cardinal at my feeder that has had a terrible eye issue. I don't remember what it looked like at the beginning, but now it has evolved to be a swollen purple mess. I don't think it's conjunctivitis (I've seen other female cardinals at my feeders with conjunctivitis; sadly my neighbors don't seem to know to clean their feeders regularly), and that doesn't look like this. Any thoughts? She seems to be surviving ok, and her other eye doesn't look bad, although it doesn't look completely normal either.

Sorry for the quality of the photo. I took it from a distance through a window and with a camera that has an SD card too large for my laptop slot.
 

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lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I had a sparrow last year with the same problem.... it is an eye disease which will kill the bird rather quickly from what I have seen. I called my sparrow / Quazimoto .... I think he lasted about 2-3 weeks and then I never saw him again. Sorry to see....
I do not know the official name of this eye issue though.
 

mira87

New member
I had a sparrow last year with the same problem.... it is an eye disease which will kill the bird rather quickly from what I have seen. I called my sparrow / Quazimoto .... I think he lasted about 2-3 weeks and then I never saw him again. Sorry to see....
I do not know the official name of this eye issue though.
Thanks for the response. This cardinal been hanging in there for months with this problem. I'm hoping it doesn't affect her too much. I saw her taking a bath today in the bird bath :) I call her Nancy, all the other female cardinals I see are Dorothys, except for the two with conjunctivitis. I call them Betty. Gotta keep them straight! Ha
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Sounds like she survived the winter but with only being able to see out of one side of her face, it seems to me only a matter of time that it takes its toll, let alone on the eye disease itself....
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
As long as she continues to use the feeder, if the eye disease is contagious, I would hope that other birds using the same feeder don't contract it.
 

mira87

New member
As long as she continues to use the feeder, if the eye disease is contagious, I would hope that other birds using the same feeder don't contract it.
Yes that's been a concern of mine. I regularly clean my feeders (and I don't think my neighbors do), and she has been visiting for months without it looking like it's impacting any other birds.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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