Letter: Keeping birds healthy
This winter, I have had the pleasure of seeing most of our local resident birds visit my feeders, especially the beautiful evening grosbeak. Watching the changes in their behavior and plumage over the months is fascinating. On Sunday, I observed a house finch with an eye disease. This species of bird is particularly susceptible to contracting such a disease from unclean feeders and then transmits it to every other feeder it visits, exposing healthy birds to the same disease. I carefully clean, thoroughly rinse and completely dry my feeders every one to two weeks to prevent this from happening in my yard, but I know many people don’t understand the importance of keeping feeders clean and how unclean feeders can negatively impact the birds we draw with seed. This pretty house finch will probably die. To avoid further contamination and transmission of this disease to other birds, I emptied and tossed the seed from my feeders and will keep them down for the next two weeks. Birds benefit from the food we provide in the winter, but I encourage any of you who have feeders to take them down and clean them so this unfortunate disease does not spread to other birds. Thanks for being vigilant.
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