[Tweeters] Raptors Infected by Prey

ED DEAL falcophile at comcast.net
Thu Dec 31 10:21:40 PST 2020


Raptors definitely can acquire infections from their prey. One particularly nasty one is Trichomoniasis, a protozoan infection carried by pigeons and doves, also known as Frounce (or the "Pigeon's Revenge"). It causes thick plaques in the mouth and throat that eventually impair feeding. We get at least one fatally infected Peregrine a year in Pugetopolis. Fatal because the birds are usually in the advanced stage before they are grounded and can be found and captured. Raptor biologist Clint Boal did his PhD research on urban Cooper's Hawks in Tucson in the late 1990s. At that time 40% of the Coop nestlings died from Frounce.
So yes, frequent thorough cleaning of bird feeders is essential. And if you feed birds, you feed all the birds.

Ed Deal
Urban Raptor Conservancy
Seattle, WA
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