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Submitted By

Bonnie Utzig

Port Washington, NY, United States


Both of these finches were at our feeder today and yesterday. We’ve had finches here since September. This was the first time I saw sickness. I still have difficulty telling a male house finch from a male purple finch, so hopefully the photos will help you determine this.


Eye problems

Sick Finches

This poor little guy was sitting at our feeder yesterday. I thought it was a purple finch though, not a house finch.

3 replies on “Sick finches”

Pam says:

I live in Colorado and am hatching a problem with sick finch at the feeder. They have watery droppings. They appear to be bloated and have ruffled feathers. They are hungry and eat a lot. They rub their breaks on the edge of the feeder. Appear to have respiratory issue. A male appeared to have inflammation in one side of the front of his body.
It appeared to have blind him or impair his vision on that side of his body.

I wish I knew what I could do to help them, besides serializing everything so they don’t spread what they have.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Pam, when you see a sick bird, we recommend taking feeders down for about a week or so to help the sick bird(s) disperse. While the feeders are down, you should clean them thoroughly – we have more information on this webpage. It’s a good idea to keep to a regular cleaning schedule too – once every 1-2 weeks – to help prevent the spread of disease. We also recommend reaching out to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who may be tracking certain diseases in wildlife.

Rose says:

Hi Pam, did you end up finding out what that poor little male finch had? Was it trichomoniasis?
Thank you and have a great day!

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