TPWD warns of bird disease outbreak and asks people to clean bird feeders, baths

Birds can catch Trichomoniasis through food and water sources

A file image of a dove from Texas Parks and Wildlife. (© 2011 CHASE A. FOUNTAIN, TPWD)

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is asking residents to clean bird feeders and baths due to an infectious disease spreading across the state.

Several doves have tested positive for Trichomoniasis, according to TPWD.

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The disease is caused by a parasite that results in inflammation of the linings of the crop and mouth. The disease eventually progresses and causes birds to have difficulty swallowing or breathing.

TPWD states it is transmitted through the use of food and water sources, like backyard bird feeders and baths.

The disease does not harm humans, but other birds may become sick if they feed on infected birds. The disease mostly affects pigeons and doves, but other species may become infected.

It’s not always deadly, and sick birds will appear weak with a fluffed-up appearance.

If someone suspects birds near their home have Trichomoniasis, they should contact TPWD and discontinue the use of their bird feeders and baths.

TPWD recommends, in general, that people clean feeders and baths frequently with a solution that consists of one part bleach to nine parts water.

“TPWD recommends practicing appropriate biosecurity protocols to reduce wildlife contact with backyard flocks,” a news release states. “It is recommended to periodically clean and disinfect bird feeders and bird baths, even if sick or dead birds have not been seen on property, as this can help prevent future disease outbreaks.”

To find wildlife biologists for your county, click here.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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