[Tweeters] advice about bird feeders and Pine Siskins -- update?

Peggy Mundy peggy_busby at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 11 08:56:55 PST 2021

Any time you congregate animals excessively, the risk of spreading disease increases.  Bird feeders result in birds congregating in concentrations (and length of time) that they would not do naturally.  Salmonella is primarily spread through feces, so feeders = more birds  concentrating = more feces in a concentrated area, this increases the spread of disease, not just among the pine siskins, but among all of the species that use the area where the feeders are.  The reason for taking down the feeders is to get the birds to socially distance themselves more naturally.  Pine siskins seem to be the "canary in the coal mine" for salmonella, I always see sick siskins before I start seeing it in other species.
Peggy MundyBothell, WApeggy_busbyATyahoo.com

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 06:16:02 a.m. PST, THOMAS BENEDICT <benedict.t at comcast.net> wrote:

The Pine Siskin ‘invasion’ seems to have moved on, or dispersed, at least in my neck of the woods. I have seen only one in the past couple of weeks. 
I recall that there wasn’t convincing evidence that seed feeders were contributing to the siskin's illnesses. The thought was that many of them were in bad condition on arrival and were succumbing ‘naturally’ and that seed feeders were not a significant factor in their demise. At least that’s what I remember from the threads. I’m sure others will chime in.
We took our seed feeders down a few years ago, but that was to mitigate a rodent problem. We stick with suet now.
Tom Benedict Seahurst, WA

On 02/10/2021 1:15 PM Ellen Blackstone <ellenblackstone at gmail.com> wrote:     Hi, Tweeters,

We've had our seedfeeders down for a month. I've seen one (healthy) Pine Siskin in the meantime -- on the birdbath.
What is the current advice about having feeders up? I had originally heard they should be down until "at least March." Is there more recent info?

Ellen Blackstone,  Wedgwood, Seattle
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