Hospital update–week of December 16

The hospital received 35 animals last week, bringing the total to 5445 for this year.

Last week’s message about keeping bird feeders clean is very important. Pine siskins are in the Bay Area in larger than normal numbers and are showing up at bird feeders in large flocks. Unfortunately, many of them are dying from salmonella infections. The hospital received seven siskins last week, six were sick and died of what we suspect is salmonella. We also received three house finches with mycoplasma or avian pox–both diseases are spread at bird feeders. If you see sick birds at your feeder, take it down for at least a couple of weeks to reduce the chance of spreading disease. Clean your feeder at least once a week. Wash with soapy water, soak in a 1:32 bleach solution, let dry and refill with fresh seed.