Friday, November 30, 2018

Northern Cardinal southwest (diseased)

A Northern Cardinal (southwest) lands on a chair in our back yard. He looks to be carrying a stick in his bill. It doesn't look right though.

(Click any picture to enlarge.)

There is a large growth on his lower bill and another on his right eye. He is active and agile... not seeming to be affected by whatever that is.

A quick Google search and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describe it as Avian Pox:

Two forms of avian pox exist. In the more common form, wart-like growths appear on the featherless areas of the body, such as around the eye, the base of the bill, and on the legs and feet. In the second form, plaques develop on the mucous membrane of the mouth, throat, trachea, and lungs resulting in impaired breathing and difficulty feeding.

I have no experience or knowledge of avian diseases and I can't claim this is even avian pox, but it is likely to be that condition.

To avoid spreading this disease, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology suggests cleaning you feeders regularly as noted here:

If a sick bird comes to your feeder, minimize the risk of infecting other birds by cleaning your feeder area thoroughly. If you see several sick birds, take down all your feeders for at least a week to give the birds a chance to disperse. Remember that prevention is the key to avoiding the spread of disease. Regularly clean your feeders even when there are no signs of disease.


Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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