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Cincinnati, OH, USA
My first siting of House finch with eye problem (Mar 31). There are dozens of house finches and goldfinches that visit my feeders daily and this is the only one I have seen with this problem. It is only affecting the right eye and the bird appears to have little problem eating or flying. This is my first year of birdwatching and I’m assuming it’s the eye disease I have read about. But could it be something else?
Hi Darlene, This is likely eye disease. The best thing to do when you see a sick bird at your feeders is to clean them. We have instructions on how best to do this on our Sick Birds webpage, but basically, scrub all debris off with hot, soapy water, rinse, and then soak in a weak bleach solution.
We have a male house finch with conjunctivitis hanging around our feeder. At first we didn’t realize he was infected, but once we did we pulled the feeder. He’s still hanging around and getting worse. It’s been about a week since the feeder has been gone. We’re thinking of catching him and bringing him to our local wildlife rescue. Is there any hope with a treatment for this little guy?
Hi Anne, Please call a wildlife rehabilitator first before taking any action. That being said, they may suggest that it’s not worth bringing the bird in – many finches get Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis and there are reports of some that recover on their own – and so then can pass those strong genes onto their offspring. Whenever you see a sick bird, the best thing to do is to take down your feeders and clean them. You can learn more about how best to clean feeders here, according to the latest research. Regularly clean your feeders (every 1-2 weeks) even if you see no signs of disease – this is a great way to help prevent the spread of disease.
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