Dirty bird feeders spreading disease among Ottawa finches

Ottawa's Wild Bird Care Centre says dirty bird feeders are spreading a disease among local finches, so it's asking residents to clean their feeders.

Wild Bird Care Centre asking residents to regularly clean bird feeders

Ottawa's Wild Bird Care Centre says dirty bird feeders are infecting finches with an eye disease. 1:48

Ottawa's Wild Bird Care Centre says dirty bird feeders are spreading a disease among local finches, so it's asking residents to clean their feeders.

Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis causes swollen eyes and plugged nostrils.

The disease only affects house finches. The species first started showing symptoms 20 years ago in the U.S., and since then the bacterium has spread across the continent.

In the past few days, several finches suffering from mycoplasmal conjunctivitis have been brought into the Wild Bird Care Centre. Most will fully recover.

Staff say the disease is often spread through bird feeders, especially the ones that aren't cleaned regularly. They suggest using a 10 per cent bleach solution to clean feeders.

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