Monday, 27 August 2007

Trichomoniasis?

Sadly, it would appear that the trichomoniasis outbreak that has blighted Greenfinch populations throughout Britain for the previous few years may have reached my corner of London.

On Saturday evening I noted a strange-acting male around my feeders who, in hindsight of a brief trichomoniasis education, showed all the typical symptoms of the parasite-related disease. It appeared lethargic and slightly disorientated after appearing to struggle with its food. Having stayed in the area long after normal feeding hours it disappeared. After a fruitless search of the streets below for any trace of a body I put it to the back of my mind.

That is, until this morning, when I returned home from a brief trip away to find this dead, male Greenfinch lying close to the feeders.

So, on advice, I'll be closing down my feeding area for a couple of weeks to discourage the congregation of any possibly infected birds with their unaffected counterparts. The hope is that when I fire up the webcam again next month I'll still have some visitors.

The RSPB/GBHi have been informed and the body awaits inspection.

NB: I take great pride and care in cleaning my feeders weekly.

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