Simon Walker's picture

Chaffinch, Female, Foot Growths

Observed: 1st January 2013 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in Birds
Chaffinch, female, fungal foot, Sandy Lodge, 2013-01-01 001

I think these growths are down to the Papillomavirus. I see quite a lot of infected birds, unfortunately. What the longer term prognosis fo individual birds is, I don't know; it the short term though the birds don't seem seriously affected.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) interacts


Fenwickfield's picture


I used to see lot's of this on Chaffinches but not in the past two years in my area,I did once find one caught by the leg growth's on the net holding a fat ball I got it out and it was okay so now remove the nets and put them in the appropriate feeders.There is on other thing I have wondered I have 5 Chaffinch's with one leg I wonder if this is anything to do with this problem



Ray Turner's picture


I suspect it may well be Sheila, the RSPB and the BTO strongly advise removal of the nets on their web sites for exactly this reason. My local shop now sells buckets of netless fatballs, the rub is they are more expensive than a similar bucket with nets. Go figure!



Simon Walker's picture

Trapped Legs

I once came across a sparrow trapped by the leg in a bamboo runner bean pole that was split at the end. It took a bit of reaching to rescue it, but I managed it in the end.
I no longer use fatballs with nets either, not because I've come across a trapped bird, but because of the warning from the RSPB and BTO.