News

Salmonella outbreak sickens pine siskins

A suspected outbreak of salmonella is killing off large numbers of pine siskins in the Lower Mainland, says the Burnaby-based Wildlife Rescue Association. - Contributed photo
A suspected outbreak of salmonella is killing off large numbers of pine siskins in the Lower Mainland, says the Burnaby-based Wildlife Rescue Association.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The Wildlife Rescue Association is asking bird lovers to clean and disinfect their feeders and bird baths after admitting more than 50 pine siskins for treatment of salmonella since the beginning of January.

Last year the WRA had treated only two birds with salmonella through the first part of the year.

The sick birds exhibit symptoms like fluffed-up feathers, difficulty flying, swollen eyelids and lethargy. Most salmonella outbreaks in songbirds are caused by contaminated feeders.

Pine siskins, which travel in tight flocks, are particularly susceptible. They ingest contaminated food and water, or contract the infection by coming into contact with feces or other sick birds.

"By being vigilant and proactive, members of the public an help reduce the spread of infection and limit the risk to local pine siskin populations," says Crystal Simmons, the care centre liaison at the WRA.

To help that happen, the WRA recommends anyone who spots sick or dead birds around their feeder or bird bath should take it down for at least a week to encourage the birds to disperse and reduce the chances of infection spreading within a flock.

Feeders should be cleaned at least once a week with a solution comprised of 10 per cent bleach, then air-dryed before being refilled. They should also be moved around regularly to prevent the build-up of feces.

Though the risk of the salmonella infection spreading to humans is very small, people should always wash their hands after handling birds and feeders.

Sick birds should be placed in a small box with a towel or facecloth and brought to the WRA for treatment.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Local charity joins fight against Ebola
 
UPDATE: B.C. legislature to get security scanner
 
Man faces impaired driving charge, wife and toddler in car: Burnaby RCMP
LIVE STREAM: TEDx conference in Vancouver; Past highlights on Travel, Learning, and Gossip
 
Lockdown at research station in Agassiz following Ottawa shooting
 
Devils improve on league lead
Culture in schools is still a problem, says former Langley student who was bullied
 
Election 2014: Scott Nichols runs for councillor in Langley Township
 
Election 2014: Retiring White Rock politician still aims ‘to make a lot of noise’

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.