jccurd's picture

Healthy Great Tit

Observed: 28th February 2011 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birdsjccurd’s reputation in Birds
DSCN0059_Great_Tit_on_acer
Description:

I think I've spotted a third Great Tit with what might be the beginnings of this accursed avian pox infection. We're considering doing away with our sunflower seed feeder as I'm concerned that it is the main cause of spreading the disease. My suspicion is that, once infected individuals are around, their reusing it might well rapidly re-infect the feeding ports regardless of washing between fillings. If anyone has any definitive knowledge, I'd be pleased to hear it.
I've posted this apparently healthy individual as much for my own reassurance as anything. It's taken with a new Nikon digiscoping contraption.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Peter Skelton's picture

avian pox

How widely, species-wise, does this disease extend, please? Is it the same dread disease that has all but wiped out greenfinches over the last few years - around our garden (Woburn Sands, Bucks) at least? I find that Blue Tits are still common (and apparently thriving) in our garden, but Great Tits considerably less so, although I see plenty of them in the surrounding woods.

A worrying development, in any case, and thanks for drawing attention to it.
Peter

jccurd's picture

Disease Information

Peter,

We've done a little digging around and it seems as if the Greenfinch problem is caused by a different agent, Trichonomosis. Here's a link to a document about it:

http://www.ufaw.org.uk/documents/GBHI_Trichomonas_sheet_2010_.pdf

In our garden (also Bedfordshire), we used to get the occasional Greenfinch but only rarely. So far, our infection, avian pox, appears to be affecting only our Great Tits. Here's a similar link to a document about it:

http://www.ufaw.org.uk/documents/GBHiavianpoxfactsheetNov09.pdf

Clearly both are unwelcome conditions for our poor feathered friends.

John

Peter Skelton's picture

bird diseases

Thanks, John - I'll keep my eyes skinned,
Peter

jccurd's picture

Avian Pox reporting forms

There are at least two places soliciting reports of infected birds. The forms are almost identical so I suspect they end up in the same place. One is at UFAW's GBHi (Garden Bird Health initiative site - http://www.ufaw.org.uk/gbhi.php - with s cloned copy at the RSPB.

I tried UFAW first but it bounced back (mail account exceeded limit). Here's a URL to their form:

http://www.ufaw.org.uk/documents/GBHIwebquestionnaire_tcm9-166044_003.doc

I had more success with the RSPB. Their form is here:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/ghbi_questionnaire_tcm9-166044.doc