Trichomonas kills greenfinches at feeding sites
Feeding birds this summer should be stopped
Common to all cases is that they have been noted at sites for feeding birds or squirrels. These deaths particularly have occurred among greenfinches, but other species such as finches also have died. In most incidences involving greenfinches several tens have died in a few weeks. To avert spreading, feeding should be discontinued and water basins emptied and wiped dry. Feed leftovers must be collected and removed from each site.
Summer is the most favourable season for this parasite to propagate
In winters this disease mostly does not appear, as the cold kills off parasites present in the environments of the birds. The parasite does not infect people or other mammals, but birds held as pets or production may catch infections. Our country’s population of pigeons has since long been a carrier of Trichomonas. Individual pigeons die of infections from Trichomonas, but epidemics such as those observed among greenfinches have not been registered.
Trichomonas gallinae exists as a parasite in the mouth and craw of birds
Among finch birds it may cause serious infections, why the birds will be unable to swallow in a normal manner. Weakened birds ultimately may die from starvation or, for example sepsis caused by secondary bacterial infections. The parasite is transmitted, for example at feeding and drinking sites, from bird to bird via secretion originating in the mouth.
Senior Researcher Perttu Koski, Fish and Wildlife Health Research Unit, perttu.koski evira.fi,
tel. 02077 24903