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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Stephen Altic

Columbus, Ohio, USA


In doing my Project Feeder Watch count for Jan.2/3, I spotted this male cardinal with apparent Conjunctivitis. He was behaving and flying normally. this is the first case I have seen in a cardinal


Eye problems

Northern Cardinal With House Finch Eye Disease?

Northern Cardinal ocular disease.

2 replies on “Northern Cardinal with House Finch Eye Disease?”

Michelle says:

I was just watching live stream at Sapsucker Woods and noticed a strange red bird that I thought had the eye disease but looks like a Cardinal. I took a picture of it and looked on Merlin to see if maybe it was a different bird since I don’t live up North. It was a Cardinal, so it may not be as often we see this cross species but it can happen.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Michelle, House Finch Eye Disease has not been found in any species outside of a handful from the finch family (House and Purple Finches, goldfinches, etc.). That said, there are tons of diseases that birds can contract, and some which Cardinals can contract do have similar symptoms to Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis (House Finch Eye Disease). In any case, anytime you see a sick bird at your feeders, it’s best to take your feeders down for a few days 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.

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