Saturday, March 19, 2011

House Finch - Mycoplasmal Conjunctivitis?

On Thursday I saw some female Purple Finches at my feeders and today I saw a male. I took some pictures, but they where taken through a window and from a distance so they didn't turn out very well. So after I saw the male Purple Finch I decided to go outside with my camera, hide behind a low fence I built around our patio and wait for it to come back.
No luck on the male Purple Finch, but this male House Finch showed up with a strange looking eye. As you can see above, its right eye is just fine, but its left eye is badly swollen and misshapen.
I did a quick search on the web and found that House Finches have contracted a disease called Mycoplasmal Conjunctivitis caused by the parasitic bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum. It was first discovered in the early 90's and is supposedly confined to the Eastern US. I'm not sure that the bird is suffering from this, but it seems a likely candidate.

1 comment:

  1. Ouch - that looks painful, poor bird. You may already know this but eye infections in wild birds can be spread by the type of feeder in the photos, where birds have to put their head in a hole. You can help prevent this by soaking the feeder in a weak bleach solution every week or two (then rinsing thoroughly, of course).