I was surprised to the point of a smile and head shake yesterday when I opened my door and two pine siskins, a house finch and a nuthatch were looking at me. My feeders are still down but my diners haven't given up. They keep checking to see what I'm offering.
And because disease in your own backyard feels personal, I was interested in this report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDRAP) released on March 18th.
The report states that the current outbreak of salmonella in the southeast has not been attributed to tainted peanuts or the salmonella that has infected humans related to peanut products. The strain that has been isolated in the bird population here is a different strain of the disease. Additionally, even though the irruptive pine siskin population has been the most affected, the disease was found in other species prior to wintering finch arrival. The report also states that outbreaks of disease occur periodically and though the reasons aren't clearly understood, it happens. This, of course, doesn't answer all our questions or dissolve the discomfort of finding diseased birds at your feeders, but at least it is more information. What feels very personal in the beginning gradually becomes another phenomenona of nature that disserves observation and research.
In the meantime, follow safe feeding procedures. Spring has arrived. Time passes and so also will disease.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.