Date: 2/15/21 3:26 pm
From: Dan Murphy via groups.io <murphsf...>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Asking SF bird experts: Salmonellosis outbreak?
This is an ongoing problem for finches and sparrows.  I've had ill birds at my feeder or feeders over the years.  Birds in the wild carry the infection so getting alarmed at the first sight of a sick or dead bird might be an over reaction.  Of course removing feeders and water sources will help if there is an actual outbreak.  In the past I usually removed feeders from 3 weeks to a month, then went back to feeding.  I don't recall seeing infected birds subsequently, so those outbreaks were probably local and cleaning up my feeding area reduced the problem to the point I didn't see sick birds for the rest of the season.  The article you attached omitted one major thing.  Feeders and bird baths should be cleaned thoroughly -- like you might for Covid.  Rub them down with soapy water and bleach.  Don't be shy with the bleach.  You want to kill all the bacteria and residue that might harbor it.  Be sure to wear disposable gloves and wash your hands after the job. 

You know, there are a lot of things that kill birds.  If you didn't see swollen tissue around one or both eyes, by the gape of the mouth and perhaps on the legs and feet it's hard to guess  what killed your bird.
Good luck and I hope you'll put out feeders in August and September to attract birds for next winter.  Keep an eye out for Salmonelloisis and stop feeding for 3 or 4 weeks if you spot infected birds.  Of course you want to be totally safe don't feed birds at all, an option I don't like.

Happy birding,Dan Murphy

On Sunday, February 14, 2021, 8:12:53 PM PST, Taylor Lapeyre via groups.io <taylorlapeyre...> wrote:

Hi there! I recently came across the following article: https://patch.com/california/petaluma/salmonellosis-outbreak-killing-songbirds-california

It seems like the CA department of fish and wildlife has asked residents to take down bird feeders / baths until spring to prevent this outbreak from spreading. This is pretty interesting to me, since I actually did find a very small Pine Siskin in my backyard recently that had passed away. I was a little confused about its death, since we always have stocked bird feeders and there didn't seem to be any injuries. It was nowhere near windows, either. I suspect that this may be the cause.

I am preemptively taking down my feeders, but I wanted to ask any bird experts here on the SF birds list: is this a reasonable precaution, and is this outbreak something serious?

Thank you!


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