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After the big epidemic in 2009, dead or dying greenfinches kept coming to feeding places in the following summers. Particularly in southern Germany, the pathogen seems to be on the rise again this year due to the continued warm weather this year.
At NABU, reports of sick or dead greenfinches are increasing again this summer. Especially from Southern Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg as well as from North Rhine-Westphalia, western Lower Saxony and from the Berlin area many sick or dead birds have been reported since July. In all cases, apathetic or already died greenfinches, in rare cases also other species, are always reported near feeding sites.
Risk of infection feeding site
Finches are welcome guests in the garden and gratefully accept feedingAgainst this background, NABU strongly recommends stopping feeding immediately until next winter, as soon as more than one sick or dead bird is observed at a summer feeding point. Feeding places of any kind are to be kept meticulously clean in the winter and in case of sick or dead animals the feeding should be stopped. Likewise, all birdwatchers should be removed during the summer. "The increased number of reports to the NABU indicates that the disease is again reaching greater proportions this year due to the long-lasting warm weather. Fodder and especially watering holes for birds are ideal sources of infection, especially in summer, so that a sick bird can quickly infect other birds. Even the daily cleaning of feeding sites and water points is not enough to protect the birds from infection, as soon as sick conspecifics are in the vicinity, "said NABU bird protection expert Lars Lachmann.
How to recognize diseased animals?
Greenfinches react particularly strongly to the pathogen "Trichomonas gallinae"Animals infected with the trichomoniasis pathogen show the following characteristics: Frothy saliva, which inhibits food intake, great thirst, apparent fearlessness. It is not possible to administer the medication as active substances can not be dosed in free-living animals. The infection is always deadly. According to veterinarians, there is no risk of infection for humans, dogs and cats. For unknown reasons, most other bird species seem to be much less sensitive to the pathogen than greenfinches.
In addition, NABU continues to receive reports on sick and dead songbirds on its website gruenfinken.NABU-SH.de.
Suspected cases from regions in which detection of the pathogen was previously unsuccessful should be reported to the district veterinarians and dead birds should be offered there as samples, so that the occurrence of the pathogen can be officially documented.
More information from the Nature Conservation Association Germany on the subject here.