Sadly we have had reports of birds with signs of Avian Pox at the Lodge.Avian pox is a viral skin infection that produces warty growths all over the body of birds. These can grow quite big but affected birds can still feed and move around. They only die if the pox 'warts' grow over their eyes and mouths making it harder to survive. Most birds continue to fare well despite the growths. It is impossible to treat wild birds due to their nature of having no borders – the best way to help is to stop feeding for a while and keep feeders and water baths clean when you start again.
The infection can be passed from bird-to-bird and also from perches and bird feeders. We follow good feeding hygiene on The Lodge reserve and in the gardens, including disinfecting feeding stations and water baths regularly, but no feeding stations are 100% safe from the disease and it only takes birds to move from one feeding station to another, which of course they do all the time. The Lodge reserve is going to stop using the feeding stations temporarily, as this can help break the chain of infection. All feeders and bird baths are being removed and not put back until at least 1 March (3 weeks). The only exception will be small amounts of food left on fresh ground at the discretion of the reserve team (especially if there is a very cold spell).
Many thanks for your understanding, and we look forward to feeding the birds again soon.
Good to hear you are taking a hard-headed approach & doing what's sensible.
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