dead siskins

Leigh yawnmail at
Sun Feb 10 10:38:30 PST 2002

I found three dead pine siskins around my deck yesterday, where there are 
birdfeeders, birdbaths, and a big red cedar tree.  One bird appeared to have
fallen from the tree, and another was behind a plant pot where it could only
have crawled.  The third was on the deck stairs.  None of them shows signs
trauma, and they look like they died about the same time (very recently), so
I suspect poisoning or possibly disease.

First, how do I figure out what caused their death?  I don't use any
biocides, and I haven't noticed my neighbors doing any spraying or
spreading.  The only thing that's different from usual is a new copper
birdbath on the deck. Could the copper leach into the water and poison
birds??  The other birds I've seen around the deck today look fine,
including a big group of siskins.

Second, should I send the birds to some local health authority for
examination, or otherwise make a report?  If so, to whom?

Thanks for your help with the mystery.

Leschi neighborhood, Seattle, Washington
yawnmail at
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