Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Care needed when feeding birds

The recent cold weather in Clinton County has coincided with the deaths of a dozen Canada Geese from aspergillosis.

At this time of year the birds are likely to be stressed from shortage of food and water, and their immune systems will be operating at a less than optimal levels, leaving them exposed to infections.

Feeding birds is a popular pastime for many people but this can be a double edged sword when it comes to bird welfare. Feeding can persuade birds to delay migration or even not migrate at all, thus leaving them under threat of colder conditions than they would normally be exposed to.

More than likely the infection of the geese mentioned in this article originated from mouldy food left out for the birds so this is a timely reminder that food used to feed wild animals should be in good condition, and that any uneaten food should be cleared away before it goes mouldy.

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