Page last updated at 00:23 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 01:23 UK

Warning over unclean bird feeders

Birds at a feeder
Contagious infections can spread from bird feeders

Experts have warned that bird feeders and baths should be regularly cleaned to prevent a disease which is being blamed for a drop in greenfinches.

The contagious parasite trichomoniasis is said to be flourishing in wet conditions, the British Trust for Ornithology says.

The parasite causes throat swelling in birds, preventing them from eating.

Greenfinches are at particular risk and it is feared half a million may have died in one year alone.

In a paper due out later this month, the BTO will warn that cases of trichomoniasis have spiralled.

The BTO is calling on bird lovers to regularly clean tables and empty feeders, bird baths and duck houses to prevent the disease spreading further.

Its research comes days after the researchers at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) also said garden bird feeders could be putting birds at risk.

A 13-year study but the college found that the salmonella infection can build up on feeders and then spread among birds.

The study revealed that greenfinches and house sparrows appeared to be particularly vulnerable to the disease.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Garden birds at risk from feeders
02 Apr 10 |  Scotland
Salmonella blamed for bird deaths
11 Oct 05 |  Bristol
Concern over bird deaths
24 Jan 04 |  Cornwall

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific