Date: 4/5/21 12:05 pm
From: Collins, Fred (Commissioner Pct. 3) <Fred.Collins...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Pine siskins and feeders
I'm with Brush on this one. Below is more information from the USFWS lab in Wisconsin. We are going to submit more specimens soon.

Below is a note from a bird banded with Harris County Mosquito Control.

I just heard back, the goldfinch submitted to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin tested positive for salmonella while the Pine Siskins (4) tested negative. These birds all came from the same feeder over in Kingwood, and the reporter said they pretty much fell out of the sky, fluttered around, and then died in front of them. They had been in the freezer for a few days before they contacted me, and they all tested negative for West Nile Virus.


From: <texbirds-bounce...> <texbirds-bounce...> On Behalf Of Brush Freeman
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 12:15 PM
To: <john.a.blackwell51...>
Cc: Texbirds <Texbirds...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Pine siskins and feeders

So glad you said "in some parts of the country" A recent report from LSU showed that numerous bird bodies, including perhaps from the Austin region, tested for salmonella showed no traces of the disease in any of the samples of siskins and goldfinches they analyzed and that the quick deaths of these birds do not indicate such a reason. They did not however know/say what to contribute the deaths too. Others elsewhere postulate that there may be poisons or toxins in the various feeds. I don't know but remain skeptical of the local salmonella proposal. My feeders remain up with lots of finches and not a single sign of any fatalities since the big freeze. For the Austin area, one should follow their conscience in terms of leaving feeders up. I personally would like to see clinical proof of this reported malady for the Central Texas region instead of Facebook posts and hearsay before I completely buy into this. I have posted Paul's letter previously to Texbird FB and elsewhere. Thanks, John.

On Mon, Apr 5, 2021 at 10:50 AM John Blackwell <john.a.blackwell51...><mailto:<john.a.blackwell51...>> wrote:
I had a lot of pine siskins in the winter as did many others. I'm now getting droves of them in spurts. They last a day or less and then another bunch comes in a day or two later. My question is about feeders in our area with respect to the salmonella outbreak in some parts of the country. Is there much evidence of it around here and other than normal good cleaning practicing should additional measures be taken? I thought I would ask directly as I hadn't seen much local commentary on the topic.

John A. Blackwell
Columbus, Tx. Colorado County


Brush Freeman
Utley & Cedar Park, Texas

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