Green finches messy eaters or trichomonosis

Hi there. I've currently been enjoying a charm of green finches visiting my garden every day (about7-10, does this constitute a charm? I liked typing the word anyway) I have two seed feeders one with sunflowers the other with hearts. I do all the recommended things I keep them clean by having four feeders and swopping them over every couple of days for the clean disinfected set. Whilst closely examining (enjoying) them I've noticed some of them are very messy eaters and can get the seed husks stuck around there beaks and after seeing a picture on here is that a symptom of the disease or are they just messy eaters. I have not seen any over symptom they are all quite spiritly healthy looking birds unfortunately I have struggled to take a picture as they can be quite shy (not with each other shouting and tussling for position on the feeders) so my question is should I stop feeding for a while to be on the safe side, something although I will be sad to do as I love watching them from my window along with all the other birds or am I possibly over reacting as there have to been any other symptoms and carry on? Cheers.
  • Evening Wendy,  just when I was thinking we were going to get away without seeing a case this year seems this poor Greenie is first victim in the garden;   we only have around 4  greenies and really hope the others stay healthy;   guess we can only keep up the hygiene routine and an eye out for any sick birds but its gut-wrenching when you see them and can do nothing to cure them   :(  

  • Many thanks Jenny,  I'll keep my eyes open and fingers crossed that we see no more of this dreadful disease.

  • Gutted for the little fella. I know it's nature but it's hard not to feel for them. On a plus side I have not seen any more signs than my initial concern and was heartened when I saw them on Autumn watch displaying the same eating habits discarding the husks, I've still got a troop of 7-9 cleaning me out of hearts. Hopefully yours is a one off case hazel.

  • Morning Martin,   thanks for your comments and as you say, hope this is a one off case but I will have to keep a lookout for further signs of this nasty disease.    I saw the Greenfinch this morning and am now certain it has the Trichomonas as often after they eat, they take a drink - fortunately we have no water bowls or they would be removed straight away as they carry high risk transfer of the parasite;  we have a pond and it was drinking from the edge so much less risk as its a place birds don't use, only on rare occasion.  They tend to drink from the waterfall run offs.    

    On the bright side, I was really heartened to learn that you have no signs of Trichomonas in  your garden and it was just the husk removal you saw.    I'm sure you would spot instantly a sick bird as they look poorly and very fluffed up with Trich.      Hopefully, I can continue to feed the birds with just the one sick Greenfinch, shame it often happens at a time when birds are in more need of our help to supplement their food.      Got my fingers crossed and once I can capture the Greenfinch I will separate it from the other birds and get it to vet   :(

  • Hi Hazy, So sorry to hear you've got a sick Greenfinch. I really hope that it's restricted to just the one. It must be heart-breaking for you with all your hard work keeping it all clean & then it probably brings it in from somewhere else. I hope you can catch it soon. Could you make some sort of a cage with sunflower hearts & water inside & then when you see this one go in, drop down the door? It's probably easier said than done but then you could market it & the RSPB sell it for catching sick birds. There must be a lot of people who have the same problem.

  • Sorry you've found a sick Greenfinch, Hazel. Let's hope it's an isolated case.

    I think they must have had a good breeding season this year as I'm getting quite a lot of youngish looking ones coming the the feeders. Ironically, not many Goldfinch which are usually the most numerous finch that I get.

  • Hi, thanks Tony,   thankfully, there does seem to have been a good number of Greenies hatched this year although we never get many in the garden.     I have seen flocks of them around the Neumann's/Northwich area that we walk.    

    Not seen any other poorly birds in the garden apart from female chaffinch and bullfinch which always succumb to Papilloma virus warts on their legs/feet   so fingers crossed and I'll try and capture the sick Greenfinch if I get an opportunity so I can remove him from the garden.