finch eye disease

Joanne H. Powell jhpowell at
Thu Jan 3 06:00:10 PST 2002

Hi, all:

Thanks to Joel Levin for the NY Times article on the mycoplasma. I've
noticed a large outbreak of the disease at my feeders this year. Every year
I may see one or two infected birds but this year it's an epidemic. I've
cleaned the feeders and shoveled clean snow on top of the area on the ground
where sunflower seeds (the only thing I put in feeders, outside of suet) are
dropped out of the feeders. But it's too soon to tell if it has made any
difference. It may only be a coincidence but this is the first year I have
spread food on the ground. It's the first year I've had a large number of
quail (40-50) come by 2 or 3 times a day at least. I buy scratch (a
combination of cracked corn and millet) and spread it on the ground some
distance from the feeders. I rarely see finches feeding on the scratch; it's
almost always the quail, juncos, song sparrows and the local N. flicker. Has
anyone else in eastern WA experienced an upswing in the eye disease? I keep
watching to see if it shows up in any other species but none, so far.

Regards, Joanne
Reardan (Spokane) WA
mailto: jhpowell at

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