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Re: [Mendobirds] Bird Feeder Removal

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  • Kate Marianchild
    Thanks Cathy. I was just talking to a friend who said he had seen a lot of small brownish birds staggering around in a friend s yard. That friend has the
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 13, 2005
      Thanks Cathy. I was just talking to a friend who said he had seen a lot of small brownish birds staggering around in a friend's yard. That friend has the stocking feeders. And I am now remembering seeing a Pine Siskin that seemed lethargic and too oblivious to people over in Fort Bragg. So in answer to Jim's question, I think we should pull our feeders. My friend was suggesting PSA's and newspaper articles. I heard that there was an article in the Press Democrat or the UDJ. Maybe other papers could pick up that article. And PSA's also seem like a good idea.

      Is there someone willing to write up a PSA? I'd be happy to send it out to all the radio stations locally, since I'm set up for that. But I'd appreciate having someone else do the composing. It should be 40 words or less.

      -- Kate

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Ortiz Family
      To: Mendobirds@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 9:07 AM
      Subject: [Mendobirds] Bird Feeder Removal

      I am a wildlife rehabilitator in Mendocino County and work with the Willits Wildlife Rehabilitation Team. I have received several calls regarding dead or dying Pine Siskins & Goldfinches in Ukiah, Redwood Valley & Willits areas in the last 1 1/2 to 2 months. Many of the callers have described several birds dead in their yards. Since these birds flock in such high numbers especially around our feeders, diseases such as salmonellosis and trichomonas are easily spread. I just want to let you know the disease is here in Mendocino County. I have included the CDFG press release and their recommendations that Jim spoke of in his e-mail, to help slow the spread of this very infectious bacterium.

      Department of Fish and Game


      Contacts: Patrick Foy, DFG Office of Communications (916) 651-9130

      Pam Swift, Wildlife Veterinarian, (916) 358-1462

      DFG Asks Northern Californians to Remove Bird Feeders to Slow the

      Spread of Avian Disease

      The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is encouraging northern California residents to remove bird feeders for at least one month to help slow an outbreak of salmonellosis, a disease affecting small brown birds known as pine siskins that live primarily in wooded areas.

      Human exposure to and contraction of the disease from wild birds is rare and unlikely, especially if basic precautions are taken. However, pets can contract the disease, especially if they are exposed to fecal matter below the feeders.

      Pine siskins are brown, streaked birds with yellow patches on the wings and tail. Their diet consists primarily of seeds, making bird feeders particularly attractive. Birds contract the disease from one another, most often by eating fecal-contaminated food - but also by sticking their heads inside tube feeders where their eyes come in contact with the feeder itself.

      California's West Nile virus hotline has received many tips from concerned citizens reporting dead pine siskins throughout the forested areas of northern California, from Grass Valley to Eureka. Salmonellosis is a bacterial disease and is not related to the West Nile virus.

      To help control the disease, DFG biologists are urging residents to discontinue feeding birds for at least 30 days, and when feeding is resumed, to:

      * Replace all food in birdfeeders and water in birdbaths daily. Clean up old food around feeders

      daily, and only use small amounts of food.

      * Decontaminate feeders by using a 10 percent solution of household bleach in water, preferably

      cleaned just prior to adding new food.

      * Spread small amounts of seed over a large area in the sun, instead of using bird boxes or feeders.

      Also, vary the location of seeds to avoid encouraging a concentration of birds at one site.

      * Replace wooden bird feeders with plastic or metal. Wood harbors salmonella bacteria and cannot

      be sanitized as effectively.

      * Use gloves when handling dead birds and bird feeders and wash hands with anti-bacterial soap

      when finished.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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