Salmonella in wild birds

Salmonella in wild birds

(Early 2021): there is an ongoing outbreak of salmonellosis in the wild bird population on the West Coast of the United States. Reports of dead and dying songbirds are widespread. Songbirds are frequently affected by this disease this time of year, resulting in large-scale deaths. Read below for more information and for what you can do to help.

About Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria can infect many types of animals, including birds, cattle, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and humans. The most common species of Salmonella is Salmonella enterica. Infection is called salmonellosis and often is asymptomatic but, for the wrong species or under the wrong circumstances, an infection may result in diarrhea, serious illness, or death.

Some species are more frequently affected than others, as shown in the diagram below. 

Bird Feeders Exacerbate the Problem

Bird feeders exacerbate the disease's spread during an outbreak, as they provide a location for birds to gather, potentially spreading the disease through their droppings and saliva. 

Bird feeders can also spread other pathogens, so it's essential to keep them clean even outside of a Salmonella outbreak. For example, avian pox, trichomoniasis, parasites, mites, etc.

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