Saturday, December 26, 2015
On 1 December 2015, this male House Finch appeared at our feeder. It was sick, although it did not seem to have bird pox. When not eating, the bird spent most of its time preening its feathers. Studies show a high correlation of mite infestation with various bird diseases and parasites. In California, 85% of birds with pox also had mites. In Wisconsin, fecal tests yielded at least 13 species of parasites, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus (Badyaev et al. 2012). At least a few mites infected most of the 305 birds in this study. After reading these accounts, I ran to the pharmacy and bought Clorox wipes to wash my hands after bird banding.
Posted by Dan Tallman at 10:02 AM