jccurd's picture

Not-so-Great Tit

Observed: 26th November 2010 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birds

Not such a great photo either, I'm afraid - shot through a window with reflected glare. This chap was visiting our sunflower seed feeder regularly the other day but it's quite clearly not in the best of health. That looks like quite a large cyst/growth just under the poor little chap's beak. The neck/upper chest feathers are also quite badly affected.
Looks like we'll be replacing our feeders and soaking them in Milton fluid, or some such.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


anonymous spotter's picture

Hot soapy water -

is pretty good as a disinfectant. If you use a sodium hypochlorite based cleaner like Milton, rinse very well. It also attacks aluminium, which is part of most metal fittings on feeders.
There are proprietary disinfectants that use isothaizolin, which are less corrosive. The ones sold for bird table use may be expensive (small package, for one thing) - see what you can find at a farm supply store.

jccurd's picture

Useful details

Thanks very much for that, Roger, that's a very good point about corrosion. I'll see what I can find.

I think we'll need to double up the feeders so we can have one set out doing their job while we are washing and drying the others. Our feathered friends tend to get a little impatient in this weather. ;-)

anonymous spotter's picture

That's what I do -

but as I trudged through a foot of snow in minus 8C yesterday morning (in dressing gown and an old pair of shoes) to top the feeder up, I did briefly wonder about my sanity...

kcf32's picture

Dressing gown

I am another who tops up their feeders in their dressing gown in all weathers. It encourages me to get on with it! The other day my wife strongly suggested that I get dressed first. So I did, and it was a disaster - lots of things seemed to go wrong and it took far longer. I am now back to my dressing gown routine even in the snow and ice.


jccurd's picture

Excellent, you two ...

... and I hope your feathered friends really appreciate your sacrifices. :)