Monday, March 31, 2008

Salmonella Outbreaks Reported

Time to remind customers to clean their feeders! Below are a couple of news stories regarding salmonella outbreaks in birds. Anyone else getting reports of sick birds? Also, here is a link to a page on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on what to do when you see a diseased bird at your feeder.

- From the Baxter Bulletin:

An outbreak of avian salmonella has been confirmed in Camden. The outbreak was confirmed by the National Wildlife Health Center through bird specimens submitted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

There are other suspected outbreaks in the Little Rock area, as well. The disease outbreaks are not unusual, given the fluctuating weather conditions in Arkansas this late winter and early spring.

New York - From the Times Herald-Record:

A woman in New York reported dead redpolls under her feeder in New York. She was told that this had all the signs of the salmonella outbreak that has been killing off songbirds, especially redpolls, in the eastern states.

In New York, dead birds have been reported from the Capital region to the Pennsylvania border. The Department of Environmental Conservation has examined dozens. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County has had about a half dozen calls in two weeks.

Salmonella bacteria can also make a person sick with diarrhea and stomach-flu like symptoms. In this case, a person could become infected by handling a dead redpoll or a contaminated feeder without gloves, or being in contact with an infected cat that might have attacked a lethargic, sick bird. If you find a dead bird, pick it up with rubber gloves. Bury it, or put it in a bag before throwing it away.

The salmonella bacteria is shed in bird feces. The birds get infected through bird-to-bird contact, or eating infected food or water. Redpolls, normally a northern bird not seen around these parts except during harsh winters when they migrate farther south for food, are the most susceptible. Other bird species, such as goldfinches and pine siskins, also can get sick. This is a fast-acting bacteria. The birds die quickly.

1 comment:

Beverly said...


Thanks to people like you, I've recently discivered this link on Cornel:

On that page there are more than ten things about birds a person can participate in...including this one about House Finch Disease:

Thanks for all your good work!