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House Finch/Eye Disease

House Finch/Eye Disease
Photo Information
Copyright: Robert Shannon Sr (eqshannon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2458 W: 216 N: 10292] (31141)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Fuji Finepix S2 pro, Sigma 70-300mm
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-18 15:07
Viewed: 3892
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I found a bird near death the other day and photographed it, but will not post it...it felt too much as if it were human...and it feared nothing from me. I could see the pain in it's eyes...and so I did a net search to find out a bit more about bird deaths...hence discovering some very interesting information and something which should be required reading for people who feed birds from feeders...and as to this Finch...I took it today as posted....it was dropping it's food which goes right into our flower planters...but another thing to remember...when you buy seed, make sure it is the kind which will not germinate....that is unless you want a whole bunch of wildflowers with more weedy green that your cultivar:-)

Cornell Lab of Ornithology initiated a House Finch Disease Survey in 1994 to track the occurrence and distribution of 'House Finch Eye Disease'. Actually the cause of the 'disease' is a bacterium called , Mycoplasma gallisepticum which typically causes respiratory ailments in domestic birds. In House Finches, the disease is restricted to the eyes and sinus cavities. Recognizable symptoms are eyes that appear runny, crusted and swollen. The birds may also appear weakened or blinded. Other species besides House Finch that have been identified with the disease include American Goldfinch and Downy Woodpecker, both common feeder birds. To reduce disease potential, keep areas under feeders clean and occasionally wash feeders with bleach solutions and rinse. If disease appears epidemic, stop feeding immediately to curtail its transmission.

jaycee, writerscrawlz, Luis52, CeltickRanger, marhowie, Dis. Ac., Jamesp, jusninasirun, Janice, MMM, haraprasan, tuslaw, ramthakur, goldyrs has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-06-18 17:34]

Hi Bob,

I'm glad you didn't post the poor bird - I don't think I would be able to look at it. But as I look at this healthy male dropping his food into your planters (which I think is so funny) I am thinking of the one who is ill.



Your note is very interesting as I have seen the symptoms of this disease first hand. It is not a nice sight to see. I also have pictures of it but I wasn't brave enough to post and most likely never will. That is definitely not the way you want to see any bird.
In any event, thanks for the note - it explains a lot. A definite 'need-to-know' for bird feeder owners. Thanks for sharing.

Best Regards,


Bob, thanks for the information, especially since I'm an advid feeder of them. I'm also glad you didn't post the one you saw dying. Just knowing about it hurts me. I can't explain it, but when I see (or hear) about an animal in pain, I physically feel a twinge. It's odd, but that's part of the reason I try so hard to help with conservation and look for these creatures in the wild. I know nature is nature and that part I can deal with, but when Man is the cause of the pain, even if it's not deliberate, it's enough to make me sit up and notice. This is something the public should be aware of...

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-06-18 18:44]

Hola Sr. Bob.
Grea Photo, excellent note but we all should read about it, I have seen some birds here with the same disease too, but people here do not often feed them.
anyway we have a lot learn about how to live together with wild animals.
TFS and a great note My friend.


excellent image accompaning the first part f your notes,
the only time when i feeded birds with bird feeder it was
in the summer of 1987, but because they (the birds)
where soiling too the garden (ils (les oiseaux) salissaient
le jardin aussi) i stopped to feed them

excellent timing too shoot the image,
i love the effect of the light coming by side,
the second part of yours notes are educative, TFS


Hello bob,

nicely composed and rthe bird looks good to the right.
good captured and beautiful colours.


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-06-18 23:18]

Hi Bob

Excellent notes as usual. Great POV with good lighting, exposure and colour.


Hello Bob. What a beautiful shot. Well perched in split framing of the sky. Stunning spotless blue with the bird in sharp detail. I like it and well done. Jusni

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-06-19 0:51]

Very interesting notes to read, Bob. Life can be sad - for all of us - birds, animals and humans.

This bird is okay though, isn't it? Good action shot with the food falling from his beak - good timing

Hello Bob
I am a great believer in posting all sides of nature as you have done here.
It is a very interestin note especially as I had a similar disease that hit the finch population in my area last year...I cleaned my feeders daily and the water morning and night...I am pleased to report though they are making a comeback this year with 7 or 8 young in my garden..Although last year I had more than 30 birds at a time.
Great post Bob and very good research.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-06-19 7:17]

Hi Bob
Excellent presentation.On of my second posting I was showing finch with eye's problem.I recall that Claudine ad provided us with excellent information on that problem.Very good note.Anaway great presentation
TFS Michel

Namastay Bob,
First of all sorry for the visitor who is no more. On second this is nice capture of this beautiful finch. Very good notes about the disease and the cure. Thanks a lot for sharing.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-19 13:38]

Hello Bob!
Superb composition here.
Great sharpness and detail.
Superb DOF too.
There's a disease going around the Chaffinches here called Bumble Foot, it makes their legs have horrible growths that stop them from walking in the end :-(
Great notes.

Well done,

Hi Bob,
Great post and info, I see the occassional sick or deformed bird also, sad but part of nature.
I'm not sure what I'm seeing..Is this bird diseased somehow?
The beak seems slightly deformed/broken..at least that's what I see..

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-06-19 19:04]

Nice post Bob,
Thank you for the information about this terrible disease. I will make sure our feeder is kept much cleaner from now on.
I have seen birds in the past with symptoms such as these, but I didn't really know what it was.
Thanks again,

I think the bird does have the eye problem you mention in your note, Bob.
As Howard also noticed, there is something wrong with the bird's beak too.
Your capture wrenches my heart in concern for this poor Housefinch.
Well, can't people do something about curing them?
Thanks for the picture, but it leaves me in a pensive mood.

I'm glad you decided not to post that shot, bobb..
Sorry in a hurry to catch up!

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