Date: 4/5/21 3:07 pm
From: Bob Friedrichs <bird.fried...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Pine siskins and feeders
Just to add an observation to the discussion:

We had 50+ post-breeding Pine Siskins at our thistle feeders in Northern New Mexico during most of August and September 2020.

About every other day we would find a dead or sick bird exhibiting symptoms similar to those described below by Paul Kyle. We washed the thistle seed socks and moved them from time to time but the sick birds kept coming. Not sure of the reason that our birds were sick last fall but it sounds similar to what some are experiencing here in Texas.

Bob Friedrichs
Palacios

Sent from Bob's iPhone

> On Apr 5, 2021, at 4:54 PM, Paul and Georgean Kyle <dwa...> wrote:
>
>  For what it is worth, Georgean and I found at least two dozen dead Pine Siskins at Travis Audubon's Chaetura Canyon Sanctuary in northwest Travis County before, during and after the Polar Vortex event. We saw many more that exhibited the symptoms of illness - fluffed up feathers, lethargy, foraging on the ground unable to fly, roosting during the day with their heads tucked, etc. The findings / sightings tapered off slowly after the event. Now the few PISIs we see seem to be healthy and feeding on insects in the Live Oaks.
>
> I suppose we should have collected specimens and submitted them. But with the power out we were self-absorbed and concentrating on keeping the wood stoves burning.
>
> Paul
>
> On 4/5/2021 4:06 PM, Keith Arnold wrote:
>> An interesting topic, for sure. Two points: small songbirds have a life expectancy of 1.5 +/- o.25 years; in a large populations, birds die from several causes, including old age. I have had small birds die as I took them from a mist net - very likely from stress.
>>
>> I’m not down-playing salmonella; it can be a serious local problem. That said, birds die. It’s good to have those results from the F&W lab.
>>
>> Keith
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 5, 2021 at 2:46 PM John Blackwell <john.a.blackwell51...> wrote:
>>> Thanks to all for the responses. I had stopped filling my feeders regularly but will return to normal now. I felt caution was in order until we had more data. Now we do. Thanks again.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> John A. Blackwell
>>> Columbus, Tx. Colorado County
>>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 5, 2021, 12:15 Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...> wrote:
>>>> 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...> 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
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>
> --
> Paul and Georgean Kyle
>
> Sanctuary Stewards
> Travis Audubon's
> Chaetura Canyon Sanctuary
>
> Project Managers
> Chimney Swift Conservation Association

 
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