I've heard from several people in the past two weeks about dying finches: house finches, goldfinches, pine siskins and even a purple finch, here in the Tennessee Valley. All near backyard feeders.
A search of the Internet turns up this quote which matches the description of what I've been hearing. "Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed a few birds (only greenfinches seem affected at the moment) on my garden feeders which have been looking pretty ill. Symptoms- slow and lethargic, not responding to danger, i.e. cats and people, sitting on the ground for long periods." Also, they have difficulty perching.
Greenfinches do not live in my part of the world, so apparently this is a widespread phenomenon.
It does not seem to be the finch conjunctivitis, the eye disease, that I witnessed at my own feeder last summer. Or is it?
Does anyone know what's going on??
(Pictured is a healthy European greenfinch.)