Over the past week I have seen a growing number of ill and dying birds in the garden. From the symptoms it would appear to be trichomoniasis caused by the dreaded trichomonad parasite. This has been reported in the UK since 2005 and mainly affects finches during late Summer and the Autumn. It can also be passed on to Sparrows. Here it was first noticable among the Greenfinches and now seems to be affecting the Goldfinches as well.
There is no cure for this but as the parasite does not survive for long outside the host the best method of slowing down the spread is by stopping feeding the birds for up to two weeks in the hope they will not gather closely in large numbers.
To this end I have removed all the feeders which the finches use. There is just a peanut feeder, a fat ball feeder and some Sunflower seeds on the table. It is safe to carry on feeding the tit family so that should help keep those going. In effect the Birdy Bistro has had to close down temporarily - for a couple of weeks or until no more ill or dead birds are seen. I had also, as recommended, emptied the bird bath but that was full again this morning after last nights rain so I think I will have to cover it up.
The trichomonad parasite causes a horrible death for those birds affected. More information can be found HERE on the RSPB website.
Monk Seals, the Desertas Islands, Madeira
46 minutes ago