In reply to HAZY:
Hi Hazy, I'm so sorry to hear your news. After everything you do for them it's a horrible thing to happen. I hope you get your birds back soon.
I'm just cutting down on feeding now, half measures this week & then nothing next week. The weather has improved so it has to be done.
Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France
In reply to Noisette:
Hi Hazel, I think more and more I am coming to the conclusion that we shouldn't put feeders out 24/7/365 days as a lot of other forum members already believe. Despite wiping perches every single day and cleaning feeders by totally dismantling them every 2-4 weeks max, we still see birds turning up with Trichomonas and Avian Pox. There are lots of reasons I had for having feeders out as I used at least 8 so birds were not all congregating on one feeder and knowing the feeders were cleaner than possibly others in the vicinity I also thought our avian friends were better using our feeders.
To be honest, I think it's hard to eradicate these diseases unless the whole country takes feeders down for maybe 6 months so as to disperse the flocks of birds back into the countryside. We don't use bird baths or water dishes with having a large pond but I think anything damp helps the trichomonas gallinae parasite in its existence although it can't survive long without a host. This wet winter has probably increased the prevalence of Trich. I really hope the scientists can come up with some sort of preventative medicine by adding something to seeds maybe which I honestly think would be difficult or more likely a treatment which could help smaller birds recover. Having said that, a bird would really have to be very sick and beyond help to be caught most likely unless a mist net was used. Tricky one but at least all the data we send in to the BTO and London Zoological Society does help to keep a more up to date picture on these diseases.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
It would be nice to think that in the end nature will give a hand & a few birds will survive & get immunity & pass it on to future generations. It really is a horrible thing & I feal for you, especially as you have made so much effort to stop the transmission of the disease.
I agree that all year round feeding isn't ideal & maybe the RSPB could do a campaign to highlight the problem. Where we are there is a lot of naturel food & the early flowers are going to seed, there are catkins around & lots of insects so it's difficult for me to justify continuing, but I'll miss my birds as they'll all disappear. I need to try & plant more natural food supplies in the garden. The robins have been appreciating our recent gardening efforts, giving them an easy supply of grubs & worms.
I have grown Teasel plants which will eventually be transplanted around the garden; I think the message needs to get out to the public to keep feeders/feeding areas spotless as all too often I see green bacteria on so many other feeders around; it would be far better for folk not to feed birds at all if they don't want to clean feeders frequently and that requires dismantling completely at least every month if they get a build up with the messy finch eaters. I don't use water dishes with having the pond but they are even more prone to bacteria if they are not disinfected every couple of weeks or so and refreshed daily with water. I think most people mean no harm, they are just not aware of the importance; they think they are doing the right thing by putting feeders out but even on wildlife/bird reserves I have raised my eyebrows at the sight of some of the feeders which are not kept as clean as they should be. If Mr. Packham wasn't aware about feeder hygiene then what chance have "joe public" got !!
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