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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Curtis Kinchen

Bellevue, WA, USA


I spotted this Pine Siskin on my feeder and it seemed pretty lethargic. Eating, but also seemed to be sleeping on the feeder and nearby tree. Not moving or being as active as other Pine Siskins. I thought it might be pregnant, but perhaps it is ill.


Sick behavior


Fat Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin on feeder. Abnormally "fat".

3 replies on “Fat Pine Siskin”

Birdgirl says:

Hi! I have a similar issue. Hoping to hear some feedback from anyone who may know what this behaviour is communicating.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi folks, Based on your description, this bird is indeed sick. This year, many finches and other boreal birds are “irrupting” south, as they do periodically in response to food shortages in their typical winter ranges. Unfortunately, salmonella outbreaks often coincide with irruption years, and there is currently an outbreak in the Pacific Northwest. Typically, we recommend that anytime a sick bird is seen at feeders, folks should take feeders down and clean them. Because of this outbreak however, it may be best to also keep feeders down for a week or two to help the sick birds disperse, especially if you live near the outbreak area, or check with local authorities for specific guidance. If you’re participating in Project FeederWatch, it’s ok to simply skip counting for the days that your feeders are taken down. Learn more about sick birds and how to clean your feeders here.

Marti Allen says:

I also have a sick pineskin—very lethargic, puffed up looking for long periods and lower abdomen seems bloated and heavy. He lies in the shelf of the feeder for thirty minutes or more at a time. Appears to be Eating constantly but actually a lot is being just manipulate and allowed to fall out of the mouth. Five others with him seem healthy, slender and bopping around a lot. I removed all the feeders and disinfected the area and will withhold them for two weeks. This is in northeast Arkansas.

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