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Ottawa, ON, Canada
Northern Cardinal with possible Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis. Eye appears sunken, feathers surrounding have worn off. Requesting confirmation so that I can take necessary steps to prevent others from getting infected. Thanks!
(Photo taken by Jean Harpur and submitted with permission. Copyright Jean Harpur 2017.)
Conjunctivitis is not usually seen in Northern Cardinals, but there are other diseases that may cause similar symptoms. In the case of any disease, we recommend soaking the feeder in a weak bleach solution and scrubbing with hot soapy water on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. If more sick birds start to show up, then you may want to take the feeders down for a week or so to let them disperse. More information about diseases and feeder care can be found on our Sick Birds page: https://feederwatch.org/learn/sick-birds-and-bird-diseases/.
Please do not rush to take a bird out of misery. They may be drunk. Berries of all sorts can cause breathing, behavioral and strange behavior. Give it a day or two. Just like humans they need to sleep it off and recover from fermented berries☺️
I have noticed a cardinal that appears to have a very bad eye on one side and disheveled feathers. He doesn’t fly off when I pull up out back. There looks to be a loos of his black feathers around the eye.
I cannot get a good photo of him.
Hi Pat, Anytime you see a sick bird, it’s best to take your feeders down and clean them. Cleaning them regularly (every 1-2 weeks) is the best way to prevent disease, even when you see no sick birds. You can learn more about bird diseases and how best to clean your feeders here.
We have a male Cardinal in our backyard exhibiting strange behavior. He cannot fly and is sort of turning in circles….almost drunk looking. Can’t really see any visible signs of anything peculiar about him other than that.
New Bern, NC
Hi Diane, Please read this statement about a recent unidentified illness that has been reported in the Mid-Atlantic states of the US, and reach out to your local wildlife rehabilitator or state wildlife agency regarding the sick bird especially if you live in that area. Anytime you see a sick bird, it’s best to take your feeders down and clean them. Cleaning them regularly (every 1-2 weeks) is the best way to prevent disease, even when you see no sick birds. You can learn more about bird diseases and how best to clean your feeders here.
So I’m a kid and I found a cardinal feather, I have it in the freezer for a few days to kill germs. Is there anything else I can do with house hold items?
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