Well, after a couple of weeks successfully feeding the garden birds, Trichomonosis has reared its ugly head yet again! This time, a Goldfinch and a Greenfinch are infected 🙁
I’ve decided to stop feeding (again), this time for a couple of months to hopefully completely eradicate the problem. It’s just so odd that I’ve never ever come across this before and now all of a sudden I’ve had at least 5 birds in the last 5 months!
The only bird I’m feeding at the moment is Colin (or Colleen!) who has an injured leg and a bad eye! He started spending the nights on the roof, which worried me immensely as we live in a bungalow & next door’s cat is always prowling around the rooftops! He cowers away from all birds (including other pigeons), and when he comes down to feed, he’ll snuggle down under the patio door & fall asleep! Again, this worried me due to the cat 🙁
So, my ever resourceful other half made a “coop” for him to rest in! He made it from an old drawer, that was down the side of the house (from previous tenants), and some mesh. We open the patio door, open the “coop” and he wanders in and sleeps! He seems to like it. The way I see it is if he didn’t then he wouldn’t come in! I am concerned though that we’re doing more harm than good… he shakes quite a bit as well so I’m not sure if he’s old or in pain – does anyone have any suggestions?
All in all, we’ve not had much bird action in the garden – the vegetables & flowers are doing great though 🙂
I’m hoping (again) that things will pick up (bird-wise) after a few more weeks of no feeding, and that hopefully the Trichomonosis will have disappeared for good!
In the meantime, below is a photo I took last year of a Stonechat, just to cheer me up 🙂
Seems like Colin (een) is fading fast 🙁 I had a thought, (not a nice one) . Trichomonosis was originally a dove and pigeon disease, it may be colleen that is spreading it! Oh Dear now ive put the cat among the pigeons, so to speak 🙂
Warren is correct, pigeons were apparently the first carriers of the disease. I’m surprised that you’ve had it around for five months though, it normally only occurs in July/August and then dies out until the following summer. Also it normally only affects Greenfinches and some Chaffinches, for some wierd reason it normally doesn’t affect Goldfinches.
Last August it got into the outside flight of my aviary of canaries and within a fortnight killed every single bird.
Hi Derek / Warren,
Thanks for your comments – I’d read before that the disease originates from pigeons/doves, and the same thought crossed my mind about Colin/een, but the disease was here long before he appeared on the scene.
However, we’ve always had a group of feral pigeons in the garden, picking up the seed that’s dropped by the feeders, so maybe they’re the cause?
So far this year in our garden it’s affected Linnet, Greenfinch, Chaffinch & Goldfinch! All feeders are cleaned, fresh water put out but I’m running out of ideas on what to do now 🙁 That’s why I’m not feeding for the next month, then I’ll probably start again!
Derek – so sad about your canaries.
Unfortunately Shazza, it appears that I introduced the disease into the aviary myself by cutting branches from some woodland trees to use as perching for the canaries. It is spread by minute mites being in the saliva of infected birds and presumably the saliva was on the branches when I used them. These mites then mass re-produce in the throat of a bird, effectively preventing it swallowing food and drink and therefore starving to death. It was heartbreaking watching the canaries frantically going round the drinking and food pots but not being able to swallow.
Don’t give up shazza,
The disease will run its course, just keep up your standards of hygiene. Good luck 🙂
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