Garden bird mortality rise
Appeared on Space For Nature on 28th January 2004
Reports from the Wildlife Veterinary Investigation Centre suggest that garden birds are currently suffering higher than normal mortality due to salmonella. You can reduce the risk by maintaining proper hygiene standards at feeders.
The not-for-profit Cornish-based centre at Chacewater has been monitoring such incidents since it opened in 2001. Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris), chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus) are the species most commonly affected by the salmonella. It is thought to be more likely to spread where feeding stations are provisioned with excess food which encourages overcrowding of birds at the feeders.
The risks can be lessened by regularly clearing away old food and replacing with fresh, washing feeder and clearing the surrounding areas of detritus. Regularly moving feeders helps too. Salmonella from birds can be transmitted to humans, so high standards of hygiene are to be encouraged.
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